Closer to the Heart

In the Greektown area of Detroit in the vicinity of my office, I often pass homeless people— prone on the sidewalk in tattered, filthy sleeping bags, surrounded by refuse, or unkempt and begging for change. A week before Christmas the temperatures started heading down below 32°F (0°C), and were predicted to go far lower. Late one afternoon, I passed by an older black man in a wheelchair. I only glimpsed the lower half of his face. He had parked over a sidewalk manhole cover emitting a small blast of moist warmer air. Although he wore a seemingly decent quality blue nylon-shell jacket, he was hunched over, shivering a little.

A couple of days later, I visited a Salvation Army store. I bought as many comforters as I could stuff into my cart. My idea was to take them downtown and give them to the shivering homeless out on the sidewalks. It was only after I got them home that I realized I could only carry one at a time as they are large and bulky. Solution? Space-saver bags! (The ones you remove the air from with your vacuum.) The next day I purchased six from Meijer and went about trying to stuff the first comforter into a bag. Ugh. The comforter was too big and the bag would not seal. So back out I went, to Target this time. They had ZipLock “Jumbo” bags. The bigger comforters fit inside! Continue reading