This question was asked in the Everything Attleboro facebook group:
"I'm sorry if this is an ignorant question... but I'm thinking of ideas my kids and I can do for those in need in the upcoming season (and hopefully to be continued all year!). If we were to make some bags of necessities and treats for our community's homeless, where could we bring them? I don't typically walk around the city much and can't say I've seen any (other than those at the rt. 1 store parking lots), are there areas of the city where I could likely find people who would benefit? Thanks! Also open to other ideas if you have 'em!"
There were so many responses to this young mother's question that I thought it would be helpful to create a list of the ideas here. I love that she wanted to involve her children in the whole process of giving to ones who are less fortunate. Many others praised her for that, as well. Here are just a couple of those responses:
"You are not ignorant at all... quite the opposite if you’re thinking of those less fortunate than you & teaching your children that same giving spirit! Also this is a “great job mom” moment!!!! Teaching your kids to participate in giving to their community 😁👏🏻🙌🏻❤️e nt h
"I thought the same exact thing and if anybody considers this to be an ignorant post then it is them themselves that are the ignorant ones, because the homeless are so forgotten about during the holidays and none of us know the struggle they're really going through or the reasons on what led them to where they are. So what you are doing and what you are teaching your children is awesome and far, far from ignorant."
Nobody wants to be forgotten, especially around the holidays, and nobody should be. Everyone needs a caring community and it was so wonderful to see so many compassionate people from the Attleboros responding to this young mother's question, sharing what they knew, giving what they could and adding value to the group. We are all enriched by each and every contribution.
"As a nurse, I worked in an inner city hospital for years. I came back to Attleboro to work as a nurse case manager (thought it would be less stressful) SURPRISE.... was I blinded. The homeless have “tent cities” in varied parts of the city ( in back of LaSalette, off Forest Street) Thank you for posting to REMIND us of what we often "do not want to know or see.”
Another thing we need to be reminded of are safety concerns. We would be wise to heed some really good advice that was given.
"Hmmmm. I have thought of this idea myself and while it’s a great teaching moment you don’t know what you are walking into. My safer suggestion is volunteering at a soup kitchen and talking with staff about how you can help."
"I understand your gusto. A few of us adults have discussed doing this. Someone that works with this population made a comment on a thread that made me take a step back. These are hardy individuals that sometimes choose to live this way. They don’t always take kindly to a helping hand. They like their privacy. Some....not all...have substance abuse issues....I understand you wanting to help but think about safety first."
The mother's response was one of humility and gratitude.
"Very good point, and I do tend to be naive and rosy eyed about these things! I'll look into some of these organizations more. Thank you!"
Now let's do just that. Here are some organizations that came highly recommended. In addition, there are certain personal care items and articles of clothing that are greatly needed that many individuals go without because of the lack of adequate donations.
More coming soon.