Friday, December 12, 2008

Meal Vouchers

I ran out of meal vouchers for our local rescue mission. I keep a stack in my van to hand out to the homeless.

As I was printing more out, I realized many people may not know they exist.

If you are in the Portland, Oregon area, the Portland Rescue Mission has vouchers you print from their website.

They also list 10 ideas for helping the homeless.

10 Ideas for Helping a Homeless Person

1. Anticipate the opportunity and be prepared.

2. Smile and actually say hello. Show respect. It gives dignity.

3. Engage the person. Don't ignore them. Ask what their greatest need is. If money, what will they do with it? Think creatively about how to help.

4. Offer an alternative. Carry with you inexpensive healthy food items like granola bars or fruit snacks.

5. Carry public transportation ( tickets and encourage them to get to Portland Rescue Mission for food, shelter and other immediate needs (Skidmore Fountain stop).

6. Keep water bottles in your car and offer a refreshing drink.

7. Go out of your way to approach them rather than crossing the street to avoid them.

8. Afterward, be sure to pray for both their physical needs as well as their spiritual hunger.

9. Be tender, ready to share hope and encouragement. Carry tracts if that's useful.

10. Print out our coupons and carry them with you. Tape them to a snack bar or water bottle. Tell the person that you support Portland Rescue Mission so that their needs will be met.

If you're not in the Portland, Oregon area, you might want to check your local area to see if they have a similar program or perhaps suggest it if they don't.

It has been a very easy way to help especially during this time of year when the weather gets so cold. Every person I've handed them to is very grateful to receive it.


Lisa said...

What great, practical tips! I don't believe any of the missions or shelters in our area offer vouchers, but we always keep ziplock bags in the car loaded with granola bars, nuts, hard candy, and the Gospel of John along with some cash. (some people I know prefer to give gift cards for restaurants instead of cash) I try to keep a case of bottled water too, to hand out. The kids are especially aware, and often spot someone in need before I do. Sometimes they put little personal notes of love in the bags and are excited when they have the opportunity to distribute them. This winter I have been on the lookout at thrift stores, etc. for mittens, gloves, hats, scarves and larger sized coats to have available as well.

Lainie said...

I was thinking this morning since we are expecting a cold front to come through that I should pick up some polar fleece for no-sew blankets and maybe making for hats.

It would take too long for me to make a number of hats if I knit them but I might be able to assembly line sew them.

I have three "factory workers" right here in my house ;)

Kim (aka- Kanga-mom and sometimes Rabbit-mommy) said...

We used these last night to make our care packages. Thanks for the suggestion!

Sarah@ thread of grace said...

Lainie, this is such a wonderful, practical way to be HIS hands and feet. Thanks for posting - it has inspired me to check and see if our community offers something similar...

Alicen said...

ohhhh, this is soooo good. i'm excited about the vouchers... i didn't know about them until now. what an easy, but such a meaningful way of helping others... and a great way to teach young ones about giving! thanks lainie! you're so fulll of great ideas! love you!

Lainie said...

Your welcome guys... I love you too!

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