My church has this cool thing called Manna Bags. You basically fill a ziploc bag with some non parishable foods, a water bottle, and a new pair of socks, and any thing else you might want to add. There is also a piece of paper, with all the local places and their phone numbers, that help the homeless.
I love Manna Bags. I think it is a great alternative to giving the homeless money. My first experience in handing out a Manna bag was great! The guy loved it! He went through it, ate some of it, then put it in his bag. He was very greatful.
My second bag has been sitting in my car waiting to be handed out. Yesterday I got to hand it out. There was a guy wanting .85 to get a box of cereal. So I gave him the bag, and appologized for the water not being cold. He seemed greatful, and walked on. Since it was payday, I thought I would go to the McDonalds in the same parking lot and get him a $5 gift card to purchase his own meal. After purchasing the card, I drove around the lot trying to find him. I found him two lots over. He no longer had the Manna bag. He saw me looking at him and ran over saying, “I didn’t throw the bag away maam, I gave half of it to my friend. Honest I didn’t throw it away.” I knew he did. There was no one else in the parking lot with the bag. I had just searched the whole place looking for him. I still gave him the gift card, but I was pretty irritated. He acted like it was the coolest thing in the world that I gave him a gift card to Mickey D’s. I even gave him the receipt in case they gave him any problems. Don’t worry, I paid with cash.
This is why it is so hard to give to the homeless. I’m not talking the poor, I’m talking the ones who go around asking for money. Most of them are a joke. They don’t need the money, or they just won’t work because they make more money this way. Can’t say they are lazy because they are out there in the heat 8 hours a day. But they definately aren’t paying taxes.
Anyways, I will still hand out Manna bags. I just hope and pray that God will help me to give it to the ones who really need it, and want it. It’s sad that we need discernment just to hand out food to a person in need. Really sad.