Valentine’s Day at United Church of Christ, 2019
For Valentine’s Day this year, Showering Love took roses, candy and “socks of love” to a group of guests in Fort Lauderdale. They were having a nice Valentine’s Day lunch at United Church of Christ. What a nice time we all had! We gave a rose and box of candy to each lady and a pair of socks and candy to the gentlemen. There were smiles and happiness all around – it’s sweet to be sweet!!
We were able to take some time for talking and listening as we passed out the goodies. It’s always important to listen to people’s stories – they often just feel the need to be heard. One gentleman shared why he is homeless.
His Income Was the Problem
He said that when he had his apartment, the rent kept going up and for a time, his income kept up with the increases. But eventually, that didn’t work anymore and he had to leave. He tried other living situations, but each time, his income couldn’t keep up! He said that, while many people think that homelessness is primarily due to alcohol and drug addiction, it often is simply financial. A person might be incarcerated for some reason and be in jail for months and lose their job and apartment from that situation. Or a person could be hospitalized for an extended period and lose their home that way. If you don’t have savings to carry you through, these can be the results!! You can end up feeling alone and unloved, even on Valentine’s Day!
Another guest, a lady named Gina, shared her story with us. She left an abusive relationship, had nowhere to go, and was mugged! Someone robbed and beat her and broke her leg. When they released her from the hospital, she was confined to a wheelchair, and still had nowhere to go! Unfortunately, she became addicted to pain medication and she started a downward spiral. We understand her dilemma – our founder and CEO has a similar story. Our lady friend was able to take a great deal of comfort, strength and hope from us that day! We wish her well and gave her a lovely rose for Valentine’s Day.
It’s All Due to the Volunteers
The folks at the church are just wonderful! They feed people who are experiencing homelessness every Thursday. This year, Valentine’s Day was on Thursday! They have a corp of volunteers who assist weekly. They are right there to help the guests pick out clothing and bag up non-perishable goodies for them after lunch. We are so grateful to be able to participate with United Church of Christ of Fort Lauderdale!!!