Givers and Takers

— Andy Wade —

snow.dayIt was a cold, snowy day. 7 a.m. came way too early for our shelter guests but there they were, headed out into the cold for the day. That day all of our guests were well verseed in surviving outside in the cold so I wasn’t worried, but I was lamenting the lack of warm public spaces during the day for those without adequate shelter.

When evening rolled around our guests were waiting by the door when we arrived. They were ready to get inside, out of the cold and snow. Two of our regulars weren’t waiting outside though. I wondered where they were. About 30 minute after we opened they arrived carrying boxex of Papa Murphy’s pizzas! As the story unfolded we learned they had borrowed a couple of snow shovels and hired themselves out shovelling sidewalks and driveways the entire day… then they took the money to buy pizzas for all the other guests and volunteers as a “thank you” for hosting the shelter.

Over and over again I am blown away by the generosity of those who live on the margins. You’d think of all people they would be the ones to hold tightly to whatever money they got. Yet here again stereotypes crashed to the ground as we feasted on pizza purchase through hard work and generous hearts.