homelessness


Read about simple things you can do to make someones day! http://daymaker.net/top-50-ways.html

I know I’m an idealist but I can’t help it….I was intrigued when I recently heard about this movement.  The author is David Wagner, the book is called~ Life as a Daymaker.  The book was published back in 2003, but it’s still so timely for society today.  I don’t know why I haven’t heard of it before now, maybe I’ve just been too busy earning a living.. but  I find so much wisdom in the concept of making someones day.  I practice it every day in my flower shop.  I think it’s something we could all practice, if we only gave it a thought once in a while.  It has the power to change the world and move us towards kindness, love and joy.  I thought about David’s comment that ” it’s hard to focus on your own problems if you are living life as a Daymaker. ”

It reminded me of a time many years ago when I worked in a nursing home. My friends used to ask me how I could do it.  Everyone found it depressing, but I always found that it helped me to be more positive.  When I looked around each day it made me realize that there was always someone who had it worse than me.  I learned to count my blessings in small ways.  I made a difference in a life, in my own small way, and that always made me feel great.

A woman came into the flower store one day a number of years ago, and she asked me to make a corsage. She came back the next day, she paid for it, and asked me to give it to the next person who needed a corsage.  I couldn’t believe it.  You can imagine my surprise when another woman called later in the day and asked if she could order an inexpensive corsage.  She explained that she didn’t have much money, but that she really wanted to get this corsage for her mother for an upcoming special occasion.  When that woman found out that she was going to be the recipient of a free corsage, paid for by a prior customer, she became so emotional.  I’m not even sure that she believed the whole thing was true.  She kept thinking that I was the one giving her a free corsage.  I kept trying to explain to her that it was paid for by a stranger, who wanted to be a “Daymaker”.   It’s a movement we could all engage in.

In the words of David Wagner “ Just be Kind,  it only takes a moment to make someones day. Each of those actions can sustain us. Those moments can even change lives”.

You can read excerpts from the book on Amazon, or purchase the book here:

Park Place Books~ A local Kirkland Bookstore

http://www.parkplacebookskirkland.com/

Thirdplace Books~ An Independent Book Seller

http://www.thirdplacebooks.com/book/9781588720757

Amazon.com an online book store:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1588720756/qid=1049320392/sr=1-5/ref=sr_1_5/002-3281715-6728801?v=glance&s=books

Advertisements

http://www.ampleharvest.org/

The Ample Harvest campaign diminishes hunger by enabling backyard gardeners to share their excess produce with neighborhood food banks.  I recently became aware of this organization through some fellow twitter farmers and of course I promptly looked up my neighborhood food bank to see if they were members. I was happy to discover that they were members. I was excited to see this!

Hopelink  just opened a new facility just down the street from my new location,  11011 120th Avenue N.E. in Kirkland, and I have been hearing some great things about the new facility.  One of the most exciting things I recently heard was that they offer  a whole new format for a  food bank.  They have it set up more like a grocery store.  Research shows that people don’t always eat the way that the food bank gives out food.  So they have organized it like a grocery store, where families can come in and shop just like you would in a grocery store. Each family has it’s allotment based upon need. Families have  more freedom to get food that they actually want and end up eating healthier as a result. You can read the news story here:  http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/east_king/kir/lifestyle/52396417.html I am so excited about this new food bank model, and even more excited about Ample Harvest, it’s  the missing piece to our nations food bank models.

I know that it is the end of growing season, but I wanted to post this so that we could all think about adding an extra 2 or 3 plants of lettuce, beans or tomatoes, or whatever you love to grow, just so that you could know that we can all help provide healthy & nutritionally great food to families through a simple distribution model.

I really did not know that you could donate fresh produce and I’ve just never given it a thought until now.  I always think of non perishable items when I think of giving food to a food bank.  I know that I have always felt bad every time I drive by an apple tree and see the apples going to waste.  My friend Leslie has made me aware of an organization called Fallen Fruit, which is an activist group that is mapping fallen fruit around the country so that it can be put to good use.  It’s a great idea! I think this takes it a step farther by enabling individuals the opportunity to make a choice to donate to a good cause like www.ampleharvest.org which has the connections to get local FRESH natural food into the hands of the families and individuals who need it the most.

Guest Chef on the waterfront in Seattle  is coming up in July, the money benefits an important cause. It is said that any one of us could become homeless at any time.  Here is an interesting article on being homeless, it is  something that the average person does not really like to think about but we should think about it more often and work to find solutions to the problem in every city across the country!

http://money.howstuffworks.com/homeless.htm/printable

Farestart should be a model, one to replicate across the country to help with solving our nations homeless problem.

FareStart is a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals. Over the past 17 years, FareStart has provided opportunities for over 3,000 people to transform their lives, while also serving over 3.5 million meals to disadvantaged men, women, and children.

The Homeless in Seattle:         http://www.farestart.org/training/homeless/index.html

FareStart has a mission, read about it here:  http://www.farestart.org/about/mission/index.html

The history of FareStart, http://www.farestart.org/about/history/index.html

Guest Chef on the Waterfront is Wednesday, July 15 in Seattle!

Savor tastes from over 70 of the Seattle area’s most talented chefs, breweries, and wineries. All proceeds directly benefit FareStart’s job training and placement program.

http://www.farestart.org/help/events/waterfront/index.html