Below is a collection of stories from a day in the life of The Little Pantry. These stories share the everyday workings of the pantry, and aim to share the common connection we see every day with our friends and visitors. They are stories of hope, sadness, dignity, trust, and most importantly, love. Enjoy!
Today was the Best Day Ever at TLPTC! A very chill, very mellow day. A nice break from our usual chaos.
I got a chance to spend some time with one of my longtime shoppers. He sells The Contributor at the exit I take to get to work, so I see him almost every morning. We have a quick chat – he always wishes me a Great day. Sometimes he leads me to the light – he tells me that I’ve got a little gray showing or that my car needs a bath. He also tells me that he loves me and how grateful he is for his LP Family.
This is a guy who has very, very little. He’s without a home and has been since The Flood. He’s got a tent without a door – he’s got a bike without all the gears – he’s got a cat without a name. He’s also got a heart without anger and an attitude without self-pity. Not an ounce.
He’s not super great at this “homeless” thing. He’s always had a job, car, money in his pocket. The Flood completely took him down. He’s been trying to regain his balance ever since. Some of our guys – they are really good at this life. A lot of them have been without homes for a long time and they have it figured out. A few of them, like this guy - they don’t like to ask for help – they trust everybody – they do without their medicines – they get skinny – they get tired. People don’t look him in the eye. People don’t think he’s worth their concern.
I didn’t know him “Before”, so I can’t imagine what he was like back when his life was “normal”. Was he the same? Was he this happy? Did he ever imagine that he would be living a life that is so extremely difficult? Did he ever imagine that people would have so much prejudice and animosity towards him just because he doesn’t have an address?
Was he just like me back then? Did he flip out when someone cut him off in traffic while now he’s happy just to have shoes without holes in them? Did he complain about his electric bill while now he’s grateful for a night that’s cool enough for him to actually sleep? Did he take his friends and family for granted? Did he look right through the guy who was selling The Contributor at the exit?
I don’t know, but I think about how little he has now and how little he needs but how much he means. He makes me want to see the things in life that are Important and those aren’t Things. He makes me want to be a better person. I’m working on my own Before and After – I hope he can see the difference.
Can Openers, Tents, Sleeping Bags, Socks and Reading Glasses. Monetary gifts and Food donations are always appreciated.
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