The Power of One….
November 15th 2009
I had been thinking about ways to give back recently and don’t get me wrong. It’s not because things are necessarily going well for me, because it really hasn’t, in fact my struggle will be another story at another time. I have always found that when I’m feeling sorry for myself the best way to tackle that demon is to do something for other people, it helps you see how good you have it.
I happened to make Andre’ Gore’s acquaintance just a few months ago, in fact we had never met, just corresponded via email and on the phone but when he sent me an email about coming out and helping volunteer to serve a meal to the homeless I was intrigued. I thought about my previous activities and didn’t recall working in a soup kitchen or feeding a homeless group but I had always wanted to. Besides my daughter, Nnenna a high school junior needed some volunteer hours. I chatted with a friend Jennifer and we made it happen. We were signed on to feed the homeless.
Gore considers himself as a simple man…but one that has had a dream for many years. Growing up in Washington, DC’s streets, Gore described himself as an ‘at risk’ child. He was exposed to the many dangers living in the city and one day promised himself that he would give back to the community where he lived and struggled.
Well that day finally came, and then some. Gore’s non profit group “Need People You Trust” or N-PUT had their 2nd feed the homeless program in Washington, D.C. on the 7th of November 2009 in a small CVS parking lot on the corner of 7th Street, NW and Florida Avenue.
Gore had a simple of idea. He wanted to provide hot meals for the homeless in Washington, D.C. a few meals during the year, and especially during the colder months. So Gore went to anyone he could find who could cook a good meal…from church members, restaurants, bakers, friends and family he rallied around and as a result had a delicious menu of: macaroni and cheese, seafood rice, stuffed salmon and crab meat, corn on the cob, green beans, chicken salad, fried chicken, baked beans, turkey, spaghetti/meat balls, stuffing, candied yams, cranberry sauce, potato salad, rolls, deserts, bottled water, sodas, bottled juice and a assortment of cakes and snacks.
Gore sounded the trumpet for family, friends and acquaintances and they all showed up. About 31 volunteers ranging from age 9 to 79 came to offer help and support to a just cause and outfitted with long sleeved t-shirts with EAT ALL U TAKE on them they did just that. Some volunteers had remarks like this.”It feels good to come out and show support with time rather than give a donation and never see the results,” and other’s said “It’s nice to have African Americans involved in helping our own and able to give back to our community. However the volunteer program is open to EVERYONE.
November 7th 2009 was a beautiful day a perfect recipe for Gore..with temperatures in the low 70’s bright and sunny. The volunteers came armed with tables, table clothes, heating pans to keep the food warm, and began setting up the pans and trays. By the time the volunteers starting loading up the food with trays..the homeless people had begun to line up at the bus stop. Instructions given were this: people that were not homeless were welcome to line up for the food, but the homeless people would be served first. This was a pleasant twist imagine that. The homeless would be served first for a change. They began to smile and nod in line as the announcement went on over and over again.
The line’s wrapped half way down the block at times, but everyone was fed and the number count of homeless reached 264 people. As the homeless people lined up to get their food they were greeted warmly with smiles and each homeless person said how much they appreciated our being there. The busy line kept everyone moving and the volunteers took out empty trays as food was finished and replaced it with more. I saw many men ranging from age 16 to 70, but also some women and a sadly a few children. I was too busy working my trays though to spend too much time ‘looking’ I had a job to do.
N-PUT’S mission statement is: “to build a structured program for youth and adults in the community that will bring forth change.”
In 2 ½ hours I had to round up my crew of 3 to leave for another meeting, my arms and shoulders ached but it was a good feeling. Yes anyone can write a check or donate money, but to be actually working in the midst of other people handing out food to grateful people with a smile making them feel special and loved… now that was priceless. And now I am ready to sign up again…for the next feed the homeless…time to stop focusing on my problems and help someone else out who has nothing, it just helps make me feel grateful to God for what I have.
Extra Note: EAT ALL U TAKE feed the homeless program had another session on Saturday December 7th 2009 from 1 p.m. at the small parking lot by CVS on the corner of 7th Street, NW and Florida Avenue.
JOIN US IN THE STOP THE VIOLENCE MARCH N-PUT YOUTH MENTORING ORGANIZATION A 501 (c) (3) NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION STOP THE VIOLENCE NOW, WE CAN’T TAKE “NO” MORE COME ONE, COME ALL, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
WHEN: SATURDAY JANUARY 9, 2010
WHERE: 500 INDIANA AVE, NW WASHINGTON, DC 20001
(IN FRONT OF DC SUPERIOR COURT)
The march will start from DC Superior Court to 7th & Florida Ave, NW and back to the court, where it will end (about 2 ½ 3 miles). Wear comfortable shoes
TIME: 11: 30 am for briefing - March: Begins at 12: 00 Sharp
OUR GOAL IS TO BRING AWARENESS TO THE METROPOLITAN AREA AT LARGE AND ASSIST IN THE DECREASE OF VIOLENCE. NO MATTER WHERE IT'S PERPETRATED. MANY VIOLENT INCIDENTS ARE THE CAUSE OF OUR ECONOMY DOWNFALL. WE WOULD LIKE TO INVITE MEMBERS OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY TO VOLUNTEER ALONG WITH ALL CONCERNED CITIZENS OF ALL COMMUNITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS STAND AGAINST VIOLENCE. WE ARE LOSING OUR COMMUNITY TO PRESSURE BROUGHT ON BY THE ECONOMY. UNRESOLVED ANGER BREEDS
Next EAT ALL U TAKE feed the homeless program will on February 6th 2010.
For more information please contact Andre’ Gore at NPUTIN@aol.com or call (202) 489-1733.
Tax deductible donations are warmly received by: N-PUT, 122 Seaton Place, NW Washington, D.C. 20001. Tax Exempt ID: 52-2290844.