If you’ve started a motel ministry or if you’re thinking about feeding the homeless you already have the seeds of compassion in you. You care and want to get involved. At first you’ll be using your own money and pantry (and with a little luck also those of your friends) to get what you need to take food to the homeless. Whatever it is, it will be enough for a start, because the most important thing is that you do start.
You’ll have cans of soup, spaghetti, fruit, vegetables, chili and other tasty items to distribute. Your homeless clients will pretty much be very glad and grateful you want to help them. They’ll receive the food with appreciation especially if they have children.
And then that day will come, probably sooner than later, when you’re urging someone to fill up their bag that they look at you with sad eyes and tell you thank you, but they can’t take anything because They Don’t Have a Can Opener!!!!!!
How could something so simple bring what you’re doing to a crashing halt? To avoid this situation, because believe us you will feel very, very bad, make sure you always have a few hand crank can openers in your car. You can get them at any grocery or retail store, they don’t take up much room and they are gold to someone who doesn’t have one.
Just this week we were serving at a local motel and this very situation occurred. A gentleman was carefully looking through what we had, but his bag wasn’t very full, in spite of all the wonderful things we had brought. He told us that he was very hungry and hadn’t had anything to eat the previous evening, but couldn’t take any of our canned goods because he didn’t have a can opener. He wasn’t trying to make us feel bad. He was stating a simple fact. This was his reality.
We gave him a can opener and he happily stated that he was going to go back to his room and make a chicken sandwich (we also had bread that day) with some canned chicken that he would now be able to use. He was delighted with the can opener and happy to just have a chicken sandwich.
When you have an electric can opener on your kitchen counter and multiple hand crank can openers in your kitchen drawer, this is a need you can easily overlook, because you’ve never had to deal with it or even think about it.
Trying to anticipate all the needs your clients might have is a daunting task. At least this particular one is very easily solved and you will have made a real difference for someone by supplying them with something so simple.