We had another early morning today, waking up at 5 so we could arrive at our destination at 6:45, which was So Others Might Eat (SOME). This morning we served breakfast to a couple hundred homeless people which was actually the highlight of my day. There was one who wrote his own songs, and taught himself how to play the piano. One of our own group members sat down and started singing with him, and spent a good half hour with him which not only made her day, but also his. I also met a guy who saw my name tag and knew right away my last name was German. It turns out, he lived in Austria for three years, so naturally he speaks German, and so naturally we started speaking in German. One thing that I've definitely learned over the past few days is that homeless people aren't who we expect them to be. They weren't born homeless, they did have a life before this and they aren't dumb. One of our guides worked for the federal government and is now currently homeless. She wrote a college curriculum on the study of Endocrinology after only taking one semester of the class. We always think that because they smell, and they look dingy, and they're worn out, and tired that they don't know anything but that's the farthest thing from the truth.
After that we went to the United Nations Foundation and learned about different projects they're working on, like Girl Up, Nothing But Nets, and Shot @ Life. All of them are worth checking out! After that we went to a non-profit organization that was basically like a huge food shelf. When we were there we sorted cans into different categories for a couple hours and got to know other volunteers.
At the end of today, I can say that I'm glad we're done for the night, but can't keep thinking about those who are still on the streets. Yes, the challenge is over but there are so many still out there. One guy who stood out to me was a 20 year old, which is the youngest we've met. He was such a happy person, especially for being homeless. When homeless, it's so easy to lose all hope and give up but even after 8 months on the streets, Ernest had such a great outlook on what was going on, and was just happy to meet all of us.