This is part two of a series on the community food box.
This morning I was puttering around the store working on stuff and I noticed someone sitting on my doorstep. I didn’t know if they thought I wasn’t open or something so I stuck my head out to say “hey! We’re open if you want to come in.”
It was a middle aged woman with her elderly father. She said “oh, it’s fine, just waiting for the bus.” I invited them in to wait in the warmth and they tentatively accepted. I offered a cup of coffee and they both accepted. Got to talking, and she told me that her dad had just gotten out of the hospital and they went back to their house to find that it had been broken into by a gang AGAIN despite them turning off the utilities to try to make it less appealing. They have no heat, water, electricity, and the gang members had stolen most of their belongings, including the fridge (???).
She was tearing up as she told me the story. She didn’t ask for anything, and said "thank you for listening." I offered them a bag of food from my food box and she tentatively accepted. Then she asked me about the store and when I explained, she lit up for the first time and said “I crochet! Well, I used to anyway. I loved it!” Her face fell. I asked her what her favorite color is, and she told me red. I grabbed a crochet hook and a skein of red yarn, handed it to her, and she smiled and wouldn't stop thanking me.
That destroys me emotionally. It takes so little - a few protein bars, some water, a crochet hook, and a skein of red yarn - and it doesn’t feel like nearly enough. While food and water are basic necessities, creativity and art are also a basic necessity that is often overlooked. There’s so many people struggling and it breaks my heart.
I don't post these stories to get praise, I post these stories because we have to hear them and understand the enormity of need that is out there. It's a constant, daily struggle. This morning I heard the story from someone, but most mornings my reminder is checking the Community Food Box to see what I need to put out. It's always empty or close to it. It's a stark reminder.
We've distributed 356 food items, 34 pairs of shoes, and 100 other items (hats, scarves, pads/tampons, toothbrushes, etc) in 15 days (started tracking February 12, 2019). If you would like to contribute to the Community Food Box Project, bring in non-perishable goods to ReCraft for a 10% discount on your purchase (food goods and other items accepted, shoes are currently being provided by a non-profit and we don't have a need for that). Can't make it in? Please consider donating to our GoFundMe: https://tinyurl.com/y64fn7qg