As long as there are people and homes on this planet, homelessness will be a problem. The sight of panhandlers and shabby cardboard signs become a staple in some cities, and while some of these people’s stories share the same overall theme, no two are exactly alike.
When you have shelter and means to buy yourself food, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which you trust yourself to complete strangers for your next meal, but that’s daily life for those who find themselves on the streets.
There are a lot of rules and even more gray areas regarding homeless populations. In some cities, it’s illegal to give a homeless person food.
A crime to feed someone who is hungry? There’s a reason a lot of people have been fined or faced jail time for this “crime” — they can’t imagine not feeding the homeless.
Fortunately there are some programs that are designed to ensure that there is food for those who need it. Church soup kitchens and food pantries are two examples, and often restaurants or grocery stores will toss out perfectly good food (hence the dumpster diving craze even for people who aren’t homeless or struggling).
Every person can do his or her own part, too, to make sure someone sleeps on a full stomach. Mookie Betts, a slugger with the Boston Red Sox, was caught red-handed last week for his act of kindness.
After winning game 2 of the World Series against the LA Dodgers, Betts went out and made trays of food available for the homeless outside of the Boston Library.
“It’s not the first time I’ve done it,” Betts later told ESPN. “It wasn’t supposed to get (the attention) it got.”
But Lou Merloni, a radio host and former infielder for the team, spilled the beans when he heard about Betts’ generosity. He took to Twitter to let the world know about it, even when Betts stayed quiet.
“Little birdie told me an amazing story,” Merlonie tweeted. “This was the scene last night around 1am out in front of the Boston Library.”
“Trays and trays of food fed the homeless. The man that delivered the food wasn’t looking for attention or praise BUT deserves it. God Bless you Mookie Betts.”
Betts did tell NESN in 2015 that he’d given pizza to a homeless man, but it was under different circumstances.
“Me and Blake, yesterday, we got to eat, and had (a piece of pizza) left and he said the night before, he had given it to a homeless guy and he hit two home runs. So, I had a pizza. So, I gave it to a homeless guy and hit two home runs, so maybe, pass it on to the next person.”
His explanation for this recent act was simple and relatable. “It’s pretty cool,” he said. “I’ve been blessed with everything I have, and I might as well share it.”
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