My volunteer work at the Sanctuary started a couple of months ago. At that time the goal was to organize the Community Pot Luck for the Cheri Honkala Event, ‘House Keys not Handcuffs’. It has grown to mean much more to me…but that’s another day’s post.
Last night’s event was an energizer to say the least. Cheri shared her perspective on what our country deems acceptable policies for the poor and those in need. Her own personal story reflects her commitment to sound strategies for desperately needed change. Cheri’s work has given voice to the very people who need to be heard, and not just because they make up the growing vast majority in this country. The poor, the distressed, under-valued and minimized human beings, should have the opportunity for social due process. There are many who are not poor or distressed who seem to have the impression that the aforementioned people, don’t really exist. Or, if they do, it is because of something they did or did not do, and they caused their situation.
Cheri extends acceptance, understanding, and genuine caring. She was rewarded by many who spoke freely and courageously of their own experiences, willing to share their personal stories with her and the audience at the Sanctuary. As was pointed out, shelter is no longer about need for a clean, warm, and safe place to sleep, it has become a source of income and a race for riches to see who can flip it quick enough and make the most from the deal. What human being would turn away another human being who needs shelter, so they can add money to their bank account? It must be the needy are invisible. Many are now inspired to join and add to the growing declaration, and will come together at the US Social Forum in June. They will no longer be invisible.
The original goal of my involvement, the pot luck, was terrfic! Created from community donations and love from the many volunteers in the kitchen, every hungry person had access to delicious food last night in uptown Troy. As evidenced by the healthy and generous amount and variety, we are fortunate to live in this region of New York. We have the resouces to feed anyone that is in need of a meal. As a matter of fact, we have the resources in this United States Of America, to feed and shelter everyone in need. Cheri Honkala and all who brought her to town and those that came to the Sanctuary last night, will work on making that a reality.
I look forward to June and all that it will bring, including the US Social Forum, and the next opportunity for unity and solidarity with others who want to focus on being human and what that means. In the meantime, I observe the continuous gentle ripple effect on the already transforming Troy, New York.