Agape Fish Fund partners with local churches and volunteers to provide meals, supplies, and Christian support for the homeless in San Jose, California.
Sometimes , what they want the most isn’t “material” things that we provide, but it is our ears that they need the most.
On Saturday, July 13th, 2019, a group of ten volunteers distributed supplies to nine homeless people. We provided canned food, women’s hygiene products, coffee, duct tape, exacto blades, batteries, water, ziplock bags, garbage bags, soap, chapstick, toothbrushes, matches, bandaids, reading glasses, toilet paper, and shaving cream.
Beyond the Basic necessities
Normally, we always try to provide the basic needs for everyone, but to be honest, it is not enough. Think about it—who lives just off basic necessities?
We always try to think what other things do they need besides just food and hygiene products. We are always constantly asking questions about the things that they gather and need. What we have come to find out is that people who are homeless tend to salvage a lot of things and need items to repair things—things like duct tape, exacto blades, and super glue go a long way for people who tend to make use of things we deem as “junk.”
We always try to ask what they do throughout the day, and then try to tailor our shopping habits to what they need. I know these items will not change their situation, but it’s good to know that something so little can maybe just change the mood in a positive way for someone who is going through so much.
Coffee leads to church invitation
Awhile ago we started bringing coffee, and once we introduced that item to the mix, we saw so many peoples' faces light up. We love to hear the excitement in their voice when they say things like “Wow, we never see anyone bring these kinds of things, it is usually just food!” or “I’ve been needing this for so long!”
In the picture below is what we’ve included in each “goodie bag.” Since we found out coffee has been such a huge success, we use it as an opportunity to invite people to ECHO Church for free coffee and to listen to the message.
We ended up talking to Jason for a couple of hours asking about his personal life. At one point, I had to apologize because I felt like I was asking about too many personal things. Jason stopped me and said “No, its ok, it feels good to have someone to talk to, even if it is a stranger.”
We can always talk about the physical things that people need, but an even greater need is the emotional need to connect with someone who cares. Sometimes , what they want the most isn’t “material” things that we provide, but it is our ears that they need the most.
Update by Andy Pham
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