are you down with a little altruism on Valentine’s Day?

I am asking for your help.  I want to help feed the homeless again on Valentine’s Day this year, and I want to feed more of them than we did last year.   I think that feeding 100 people this year is a reasonable goal.

Ashley and I can do it by ourselves, but we think it would be a lot more fun with more people and more resources.  This is a noble cause, it’s a lot of fun, and you can help people and see a part of society that you may not have previously had a lot of contact with.

It all started last year, when I won a $ 100 chip at a sales meeting in Vegas.  The meeting was right before Valentine’s weekend, and it worked out well for me, because I needed the extra money so I could do the traditional thing of going out to eat with my wife for Valentine’s Day. 

I thought how expensive it is for two people to eat out.  Hell, we might just use the whole $ 100 for one meal if we wanted to do the fine dining romantic thing.  Something about that didn’t make a lot of sense to me.   So I put a stipulation on the $ 100 chip.  Half would be for dinner for Ashley and me; we could certainly have a nice dinner for $50–and the other $ 50 would be used to buy the food and supplies to make lunch for the homeless.  

So we went to Costco and Target and bought bread, meat, cheese, chips, water, chocolate, etc.

And we spent an hour or so assembling the bags to hand out.  We made lunch for 25 people for $50.  The economics of it stunned me.  Ashley and I could have a nice dinner for $ 50.   And for the same amount of money, we could go out and find 25 homeless people and give them a meal.  Think about that the next time you go out to dinner.  Kind of puts everything in perspective. 

One of the first things we saw was a man picking through a trash can looking for food in downtown Dallas.  We pulled the truck over and handed him a bag.  He honestly looked like he had just witnessed a miracle.  Someone he did not know handing him a clean, fresh bag of food as he was digging through the garbage. 

Not a miracle.  Just something that any one of us can do for our fellow man.

I once heard the Soupman, a local homeless advocate, say that the first thing on a homeless person’s mind when they wake up is “Where is my next meal going to come from?”  Can you imagine that?  

So we want to make it a tradition.  And I’m not going to nag you or encourage you to help, this will be the only time I ask you to be a part of this in 2012.  We want to feed the homeless every year on Valentine’s Day, and we want to feed more than we did last year.  I’m thinking maybe all we need is $ 20 and 2-3 hours of your time.

It’s a lot of fun, and we will once again be bringing Owie along to participate in the handout.  I think it’s a great thing for a young kid to see.  Come see it for yourself.

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