Four intrepid third and fourth graders and their teachers ventured outside Plymouth walls last Sunday on a cool, wet morning. We were armed with bags of pop tarts, satsumas, banana bread and power bars to share with people we encountered on the street.
Before we left, three YF'ers visited with us to answer questions based on their experiences working with homeless people. They told us, "Don't be nervous, they are just people." That was really good advice.
Offering food to about 10 people, we walked through Freeway Park, circled down to Fourth Avenue and then back up to Plymouth. Our greeting, "Would you like a snack?" was met with mild surprise, then "Sure!"
One young couple, looking tired and cold, walked up Fourth Avenue; the man carried a worn duffle bag on his back, the woman was wrapped in a blanket. They could have been a modern day Mary and Joseph. They accepted as many snacks as they could hold. Another man sat alone, and cheerfully engaged with us when we stopped. He told us about his shoulder injury that prevents him from working and, like the couple, eagerly accepted our variety of snacks.
When we were done, it seemed silly to have been nervous. The brief encounters over an offer of food helped our class experience that even though privilege and circumstance sometimes separate us, we are not so very different from one another. We might like to repeat our venture sometime soon.