An older gentleman came by our office last week, and in many ways, he embodied the indomitable, charitable spirit of Roswell.
The gentleman said he was getting up in years and he isn’t able to camp anymore, so he gave us the best pickings of his camping equipment to distribute to the homeless.
Earlier this week, a lady came by with a plastic bag of scarfs, brand-new scarfs she and her friends knitted specially for the city’s homeless. As scarfs go, they’re pretty impressive — and warm and fuzzy.
We received blankets by the wheelbarrow, many of them like-new, if not new.
People dropped off tents, canned food, heavy winter coats, air mattresses, canteens and canisters, all the essentials we suggested in a recent editorial about the homeless situation in Roswell.
We couldn’t find boxes big enough to collect it all, so the donated items started mounting up the wall of our newspaper’s conference room. So, given the cold days and freezing nights of late, we decided not to wait until Christmas and to distribute the donated items Friday afternoon personally to those in need.
And, dear readers, it was indeed a bright and sunny day.
We drove around Roswell Friday afternoon looking for the homeless, the destitute, those experiencing hard luck, with our Roswell Daily Record van loaded with items donated by our readers. And it didn’t take long to find them.
We’d rather not disclose where exactly we went, whom we spoke with, and where they are, but rest assured — the downtrodden are among us.
We asked no questions other than “What would you like? Do you need a coat?”
We didn’t get a permit from the city, we didn’t mention anything religious other than Merry Christmas or Feliz Navidad, and we weren’t seeking any recognition. Instead, we used the power of the press in a most rewarding way.
We asked, and you gave. We collected the donated items and distributed them. It was pretty simple, really. And for those of us in the van, we re-learned the old adage that it is truly better to give than to receive.
So with your help, we’d like to continue to use the power of the press for a good cause we can all get behind. The canned food we collected went quickly, as did the winter coats. We learned it’s difficult for the homeless to lug around more stuff, so it’s better to take the boxes of goods where they live and drop them off, no questions asked. If you know of such an area, please let us know on the down-low. We’d like to find more people in need next time.
We learned Friday that the ability to tap into the charitable spirit of our kind readers is a powerful force. And what better time to do so than now, with the freezing cold nights and holiday spirit in full bloom.
Please consider helping us spread more holiday joy. We seem to be good on tents, but we doubt we’ll ever collect too many warm coats, blankets and pillows, or too much food. Once the pile is rebuilt, we’ll crank up the RDR van and do it all over again.