BUY THAT GUY A SAMMY: Feeding NYC’s Homeless, One Person At A Time

Hey Zenful Dancers!

I haven’t been doing too well lately.  Lots going on with my health and my home life.  It’s been overwhelming on most days and my meditation practice has been damn near sanity-saving- and at the risk of sounding too dramatic maybe even life-saving.  But nothing snaps me out of a funk more quickly than figuring out how I can be helpful to others who are in a much worse way than I am.

Today I bought Reggie a sandwich.  Reggie was in the Flatiron today and I could tell he wasn’t doing so well.  He was hunched over his walking cane from what he explained was a “bad case of Scoliosis” and he looked pretty parched up.  As most homeless folks (and many con-artists posed as homeless folks do) he asked if I could give him any money.  I explained I don’t give out money but I do give food when I can and that gesture usually weeds out the cons from the people in need. We got to talking.  He’d been homeless for two years and is usually pretty lucky to get into a shelter, but not always.  His back always hurts and he’s always hungry and he can’t believe he is in the situation he’s in at his age (I would guess Reggie is in his early 60’s).  I wanted to help.

I went into the deli shop on the next corner and explained my story.  I told them I wanted to get the best sandwich I could buy and a bottle of water but my budget was $10.  When the lady at the counter rang me up, the total was over budget so she promptly offered me her employee discount and said with a lovely smile, “Hey, pay it forward, right?”  $9.84.

$9.84 made not just 1 but 3 people feel great today!  It was a small gesture but had a positive impact on my, Reggie’s and the lovely shop girl’s day.  Think about that the next time you walk by someone in need on the street and you have 5 minutes and $10 bucks to spare.

Let’s start a movement.  Out of my own pocket I am going to buy one person a meal, once a week for the next year on a $10 budget.  I am going to take the time to at least learn their name and even take a selfie (an “Ussie”?) with them if that’s comfortable for them.  AND I will Tweet/Blog updates. I plan to do this once a week for a year and instead of buying myself a coffee every morning, I’ll pare down to just once a week and make my coffee at home.

If you live in a town or city where homeless folks live in your neighborhood, remember, they’re your neighbors too.

Pay it forward.  Who’s in?

-Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger

#BuyThatGirlASammyNYC #BuyThatGuyASammyNYC #PayItForward #FeedNYCHomeless #compassion

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