Around this time a few years ago, I was having lunch with a friend and venting how flustered I was that Christmas was around the corner and I had not even begun all the shopping I needed to get done, which would of course put me out hundreds of dollars. Later, on my way home that day I was walking past a Dunkin Donuts when a homeless man approached me and asked me if I could buy him some coffee. I happily agreed and went into the Dunkin Donuts where I bought the man a coffee and a meal. While this is something I commonly do when asked by someone in need, it was the man’s appreciation that got to me. He was profusely thankful and showered me in God-blesses and kind words.
This was also the same day that I realized how buying that four dollar meal was as rewarding – if not more so – than any one Christmas gift I gave that year.
Charity and giving to those is need has always been imperative to me. I am human and yes, I want materialistic things, but I am also very aware of my good fortunes and even more aware that not everyone has the opportunities that I do. When I found Sunday Breakfast (SB) in hopes of volunteering for dinner service, I never knew how much the shelter would impact my life and how involved I would become.
This photo shows the shelter in the 1920’s and again at Thanksgiving last year.
While the Mission is home to a few rescues including a women and children’s facility, I personally have involved myself in the men’s rescue located at 13th and Vine Street in Center City, Philadelphia. This facility provides nightly housing (and meals) for over 200 men and is also the home for the members of the Overcomers Program. This program is designed to take men off of the street and uses tools like scheduling, education, and internships to help them rebuild their lives and move back into working society. It is the men in this program that have displayed what real strength and courage is.
My relationship with SB has been insightful and humbling. I have learned so much about the homeless community and have even been fortunate enough to learn the stories of some of the men. These stories really opened my eyes to the world of the homeless. These are not just people begging you for money on the street. They are real human beings with lives and families and stories – just like the rest of us.
Meeting the groups of men within the Overcomers program over the past few years has only fueled my passion in helping them. I have first hand seen how much a program like this has changed the lives of these individuals and I am determined to spread their cause.
There are many ways that you can give to the SB family; whether it’s volunteering at their kitchen during dinner service, or making a donation to the organization. However, nothing helps the rescue more than contributing to their Fall Food Drive. The Food Drive allows the shelter to serve an all-day Thanksgiving to the homeless community of Philadelphia and in true Thanksgiving fashion – even allows the community to get seconds. Along with canned goods, the men’s shelter is in need of practical items such as socks, underwear, warm clothing, and sneakers.
If you currently live in Philadelphia and want to help collect these goods for the Fall Food Drive, round up your belongings and drop them off at 302 N 13th St. Philadelphia, PA 19107. You can also call the rescue to schedule a delivery at 215-922-6400.
If you are interested in donating to Sunday Breakfast or have any questions about how you can help, feel free to email me (email@example.com) or you can reach the SB volunteer coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.Pin It