On Saturday, December 22nd, together we made Christmas for the homeless people in the City parks with the help of many kind hearted people, some of which helped out by donating their time, a few with the cooking, & others helped out with donations of items needed for the 80 grocery bag sized gift bags, with funds, or home baked cookies. :) We ended up feeding 87 people that evening at Santa Rita Park & at Estevan Park. Everyone was very appreciative & very grateful for the food & especially for the gift bags. :)
Then on Christmas Eve I went back to the two parks with 15 great big pizza's & a lady stopped by & gave us another two, which we really ended up needing to feed all 44 homeless. :) Thank you lots Marilyn & Michael W. for being there for me on Christmas Eve by helping to serve the food & transporting the bags !! :)
First of all I would like to thank my almost 90 year old Hilde for making 8 gigantic meat loaves by herself for the Christmas dinner & a huge pot of her famous gravy to go with it. :) She cooked about 30 lbs. of ground beef for about 90 servings !! Hilde, you are one of the kindest & most selfless people I know !! I feel so blessed by you walking this path with me & by your dedication to this project of putting food into peoples bellies. :) I So Love You !! :)
For Christmas dinner we also served 2 huge pots of mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans with cranberries & bacon, corn, cranberry sauce, fresh tossed salad, jello with fruit & Cool Whip (which often got called Miracle Whip ;) ), home baked cookies & bottled water. I think all the homeless were ready for a nap after that big meal with their full bellies, which made all of us servers feel good too. :)
We took many pictures & I still have to learn to post them on my blog. :o :) I will give it my best shot & try to post them separately so you can see some of them. :) Please check my blog http://karin-feedingthehomeless.blogspot.com
again in a few days for those & other entries. :)
Hilde & I decided that we will continue to serve our big meals on the last Saturday of each month. :) We are getting older & our bodies get tired quicker. And I need to focus more on my business, since that brings my income.
Each grocery bag was stuffed with brand-new underwear, socks, beanies, scarves & gloves. Also shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, shaving cream, razors, combs, wet wipes, tooth paste & brushes, some playing cards, books, magazines, home baked cookies, lots of Christmas candy & there were many Christmas cards in each bag. We also added many snack packs & granola bars this year. Those bags were quite heavy with all kinds of goodies. :)
There are soooo many people to thank & I hope that I won't forget anyone. I made many notes along the way for that reason, lil' slips of paper everywhere. ;)
Thank you each & everyone of you for your kind help, for without you I could not have done this once again !! :) We all pulled together & opened our hearts to make a difference in some peoples lives who are struggling more than we are, and we made them happy, which is the best feeling in the whole world. :)
I would like to begin by thanking the Angels individually who donated funds for the food & some of the items for the gift bags. :) Thank you Jane, K.C., Alice, Jhan, Cristina & her lil' Kiersten for saving their change for months to donate, Charles, Suzzanne & all her friends who purchased squares for the quilts & sent the left-over money for food, Melany, Sylvia to honor her son Alan, my "Cookie Family" & Michael H. Also a huge thank you to Mark & Frank & the BSD Winers & Diners Club for so helping out !! :) You made me cry with your Kindness. :) Because of you I was able to go again on Christmas Eve with the many pizzas. :)
Some of the other helpers I already thanked in my Thanksgiving blog, which carries forward to Christmas too & I will send this entry to you also. :)
Thank you Tom, Mary-Ann & Sue for helping with the cooking of the Christmas dinner !! I hope Hilde wasn't too hard on you. :) Just kidding, my sweet Hilde !! :) And thank you Marilyn for making that huge bowl of Jello with fruit for dessert, especially since you don't really like to cook !! :)
Thank you Hilde, June & Mel, Sally, Mary-Ann, Marilyn, Haroon, Umair, Adeel, Neida & Kaukab for serving the food at both parks. We had a long line up of homeless & a long line up of servers too. :) Made it so much easier for all of us. :)
Thank you Sally & Harvey, and Keith & Kristin for loading up all the gift bags in your trucks & for handing them out in the parks !! :) And for hanging out with us in between the meals at both parks. Laura & Steve, thanks for coming to the first park & for being there with us !! :)
Thank you Marilyn, Sue, Laura & Steve, and Marianne with her two lil' ones Chelsey (3) & Heather (10) for helping stuff all those gift bags !! :)
Thank you Sara & Rae, Marianne, Heather & Chelsey for all the cookies you baked !! :) We had about 360 total. :) And thank you Carolina, Cristina, Dave & Linda, Sobia for all the candy you donated. :) Those homeless have a big sweet tooth & all those were big treats. :)
Thank you so much Jeanne, Michelle, Alvin, Laura & Steve for donating some of the snack packs & granola bars for the gift bags. :) I always like to have those handy throughout the year to help tie the homeless over when they are hungry & don't have any food available.
Alvin, thank you also for donating a few of the beanies !! That was very thoughtful of you & at the end I was a few short, so it worked out great !! :)
Jeanne, thank you also for getting all those books donated from Bookman's.
And a great big thank you goes to Bookman's for donating the 5 big boxes full. You guys are awesome & always come through for me. :)
Dave & Linda thank you so for donating some of the food for the Christmas meal !! You two are just incredible & are a constant in me helping out with this project !! I am always so grateful to you both !! :) Your Hearts a big & you fill mine with your Kindness !! :)
And then there is the Helping Hands (knitting & crocheting) Club !! You always blow me away with the generosity of your members. Thank you Dianne & Caroline & everyone else for all your donations of food, toiletry items, playing cards, combs, some clothes, plates, forks & napkins, along with lots of candy & chocolates & much, much more. And thank you for writing all those Christmas cards for the homeless too. :) You ladies are incredible & you all have huge Wings !! :) Your service to those in need is awesome & goes all over the world !!
Thank you Pat for writing so many Christmas cards & all those stickers !! :) The homeless must have felt loved by all those cards that were in their bags. :) And thank you for helping dish out the food at the parks !! :) It was good to see you again after all this time. :)
Thank you so much Hilde's Granddaughter Andrea for all those toothbrushes !! :) They were so needed. That was really dear of you !! :)
Cheryl, thank you so much for crocheting 32 beanies for the homeless, yes 32 !! :) Your kindness is incredible & brought tears to my eyes when you brought them over. :) There will be many warm heads this year in the parks thanks to you. :)
Thank you Marilyn, Liz & James for helping me unload & clean up all those big pots, containers & my kitchen after the big meal !! That meant a lot to me & was such a huge help !! :) I was so tired by then. :o
Suzzanne, you simply blew me away with your thoughtfulness & your determination to make a difference !! :) Your raising funds & then sewing together 4 great big quilts for the homeless was such a gift of yourself, it was an incredible act of Kindness !! When I opened the box of quilts all this Love came bubbling out of it & it made me cry tears of happiness. :) Thank you so much Suzzanne for sending the quilts all the way from Wisconsin & the left-over money from "selling" the squares. And thank you hugely Jennifer, Robert, Elizabeth, Lowell, Cath, Lona, Beth, Dan, Cathy & Gail who all helped Suzzanne with her project for our homeless here !! :)
I made sure that these beautiful quilts were going to homeless who would honor them & who really needed them. The first quilt went to an 82 year old homeless woman who with her shopping cart roams all over Tucson's east side. She often sits on bus benches & chats with people. My Cristina has taken her into her Heart & so have I. :) The second quilt went to another homeless woman in her 50ies, who always shows up for each meal & is always very humble & grateful. :) The third quilt went to an old man who used to live out of his truck, but it broke down, so he is hopefully in a shelter now !! I knew he would honor all the Love in his quilt. :) And the fourth went to a friend of the old man's, who always helps me serve some of the food. He has a little crush on me & everyone teases me about it. :) We know that these four people will sleep a little warmer now & that they are enveloped by the Love of those quilts !! :)
And another great big Thank You goes out to Sobia & all her helpers from the Ahmeddiya Movement in Islam Mosque for making such a huge difference with their enormous amount of Love & Generosity this Christmas !! :) You also made me cry happy tears !! :)
Thank you for all the many, many items you donated, like 80 each shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, shaving cream, razors, books, magazines & chocolates too. :) It filled up my SUV when I went to pick it all up. And thank you for sending over the three young men, Atta, Ali & Fuzeal, just to unload my car at my home, because it was all too heavy for me. :) That was incredibly thoughtful of you !! Please thank your Dad for me too, Haroon & Umair for all their loving help with this !! :) You all are sharing & teaching Love so beautifully & you are a great big Ray of Light in my & the homeless people's lives !! :) Thank you for all your service work here in Tucson !! :) I hope that we will continue to work together & I am here to help you the best I can !! :) Just let me know !!
It was on December 13th when I picked up all the items Sobia's mosque donated, it was the day of the shooting in Newtown. My last blog entry is about the moment I heard it on the radio. Hopefully it is inspirational to you & I offer it to anyone to read. :)
Another huge Thank You goes to Mayumi & her boss Randy, from Chiral Research for all the big help you all provided !! :) Mayumi thank you for remembering that I feed the homeless & for suggesting to your boss to help !! :) I had missed you at the bank & always wondered how you were doing. You are the sweetest ever !! :)
Randy, thank you for your generous help of donating the 80 each scarves, bars of soap & the wet wipes !! :) Your help was so generous & I am so grateful to you for jumping in at the end of things !! :) How was your Christmas Party dinner ?? I so admire you for making pasta from scratch for all your employees that night !! :)
So many people to thank this year for making such a huge difference for the homeless & for offering your Love & Kindness !! In these trying times it is that much more important that we all pull together to help each other & that is the most important & kind thing to do !! :) I am ever so grateful to each & everyone of you & hopefully we can do this again next Christmas !! :)
Meanwhile Hilde & I will continue to cook & serve food to the homeless again once a month. :) And probably around some of the big holidays too, like Valentine's Day, Easter, Veterans Day, etc. :)
Big Hugs to each of you & my most deepest Gratitude !! :)
You all are my Earth Angels !! :)