When I Was Hungry, You Gave Me Food
by Kristi Jo Jedlicki
On a daily basis, the guests at the day shelter for homeless men where I work show me what it truly means to be unselfish and generous. Their kindness is one of the many reasons that I tell them that they are the finest gentlemen in all of Louisville. Last week, I was fortunate to bear witness to an act of kindness by two of Louisville’s finest gentlemen that touched my heart deeply.
We do not have kitchen facilities at the day shelter, so, we do not have the ability to serve any meals there. Sometimes, various community groups or individuals will drop off treats, such as doughnuts or sack lunches, for our guests, but we do not routinely have food on hand. Such was the case recently, when a young man asked me if we had anything to eat.
He explained that he recently began working a second job, in order to be able to save up enough money to rent an apartment. He now was working 55 hours/week, which left little time to do anything else, including grabbing a meal at a local soup kitchen. I double checked to see if there were any food to offer to him, but there was nothing. As I explained the situation to him, he smiled and thanked me, and that’s when two other guests came to his rescue.
These two gentlemen were seated nearby and overheard our conversation, and when I couldn’t help this young man, they took matters into their own hands. The two men approached us and immediately began rummaging through their respective backpacks. One man pulled out a granola bar, and the other man took out a small jar of peanut butter and some crackers. Both proceeded to lay out their offerings on the table in front of the young man, as if it were a fine meal at a fancy restaurant.
Initially, the young man politely refused and urged them to keep the food for themselves, but the two benefactors insisted that he take their food, noting that he needed to keep up his strength for his two jobs and reassuring him that they would be able to replenish their supplies later. The young man finally accepted their donation of food with sincere gratitude, and I also thanked them for their help and generosity. Both men shrugged off our thanks, but when someone who has next to nothing gives so much so freely, that is definitely nothing to shrug off at all. Thank you, gentlemen!
Please also see another of Kristi’s Guest Blogs – It’s Better to Give Than to Receive
Author – Kristi Jo Jedlicki resides in Kentucky, where basketball, horses, and bourbon reign supreme, and not necessarily in that order.
She says she is “a perfectly flawed southern girl who dreams big and has stories to tell. I am simply myself, and I am many things to many people, including, but not limited to:
- a better ex-wife than wife
- a mom to two extraordinary daughters
- a southerner raised by Yankee parents
- the youngest of three daughters, who puts the fun in dysfunctional
- a loyal friend to a diverse cast of characters
- a social worker
- a writer and blogger
- an avid lover of music of all sorts
- a big dreamer, despite living through some nightmares
- a pessimistic optimist or an optimistic pessimist