I’m getting reading to go back to the park tomorrow. Making some cookies. 🙂
Last time, I was able to take a few pictures on the way into the park without being noticed or making anyone uncomfortable.
Here we are on the street before we turn into the park, and you can see the line is already forming.
Here is part of the car caravan with the food and stuff! You can also see some more people walking to join the line already formed.
“C” has given permission not only to use his name (hooray!), but also to be photographed.
Let me introduce you to our friend Chuck!
Continue to pray for Chuck as he deals with his diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. He was interested to hear about the prayers for him from my new blogging friend Miss Whiplash who even blogged about OSS on her page. He thought it was “cool”.
Sorry for the “sideways” picture. I was putting my camera away and took a few shots without realizing it. Tee-hee.
Dawn said she would provide a picture for me of her and her boyfriend Ernie or let me take one (next time maybe?). She showed me her paperwork for some upcoming surgery she is having on the 24th of this month. She told me which hospital she would be in and what time the surgery would be for them to correct the damage that was done on her previous operation. I told her I wanted to come see her in the hospital. She was surprised, and pleased. She made sure I saw everything I needed on her paperwork so that I could find her. Her boyfriend Ernie was not with her as he was selling his plasma so that he could get some money for food (Ensures, or milkshakes) that she could eat for the week. She is still only able to eat liquids. She told me he was eating lots of peanut butter sandwiches prior to selling the plasma and that you can do that once a week.
(I was reminded of a young girl I knew a while back that had sold her blood plasma for some money to pay her bills. It was the first time that I had heard about something like that. It made my heart sad at the time that she felt she had to do that (it still does when I think about it). There were some of us that rallied around her with some help. I remember hoping that it would be enough that she didn’t ever have to do that again, and that she would come to us for help when she needed it.)
Apparently it is not uncommon for the homeless to sell their blood plasma. It provides cash they need. I believe they get around $30-35. (Side note: I was told it is also common for local college students to do the same thing).
Something to think about before picking up that casual purchase….would I give my life’s blood for it? Hum.
While I was talking to Dawn, I kept being drawn to a petite woman sitting off to the side. I have noticed her before, but she usually leaves quickly. This time she was sitting close to us…sort of just hanging around. I didn’t want to just stop talking to Dawn and be rude, so I was waiting for the right moment to leave to meet this lady.
It happens that Dawn started asking about the dog that one of the helpers took home two weeks ago. There was a homeless man that was willing to go into rehab, but had a dog named Lucky. Dawn, Ernie and Chuck were encouraging him to get into rehab, but he was worried about his dog. Once he realized someone would take care of Lucky he was willing to go to rehab. Dawn said he heard he was in rehab, but was wondering about his dog. She was asking so she could get word back to him. So, while they were chatting about Lucky, I wandered over to meet this petite lady.
I noticed that she had a bag with some knitting needles and some yarn stuck out of it. Well, I can knit and crochet, so this led to an opening topic. We spoke a little about knitting. She showed me her work, and also showed me a beautiful purse she had knit. She said she works with scrap pieces of yarn. I asked her if she minded if I brought her some scrap balls of yarn that I had from projects. (I usually don’t throw them away, because I think someday I’ll use them….someday usually doesn’t arrive, haha). Anyway, she said “That would be really nice, I have not been able to purchase yarn for a while, maybe when I get back home”. I asked her where “home” was. She said “Germany”.
Wow, Germany. Makes you wonder how she ended up on the streets of Columbia, South Carolina. Maybe she’ll share her story when she feels comfortable. I asked her name. Let’s call her “B”. I’m anxious to learn more about her and pray for her safety.
People were starting to pack things up and carting things off to cars. Someone called my name. I told her it was really nice meeting and talking with her. She said likewise.
I turned to help pack some things, and she quietly crossed the street and disappeared up the hill.
I think that she is friends with “S” and “T” and I knew that they had gone to the library. I hope she has someone to watch out for her on the streets. Pray for her safety.
These trips downtown certainly can bring up memories or stir your emotions. What a blessing and opportunity! It continues to makes me appreciate what I have, where I’ve been, what I’ve learned and look forward to what I will learn.