I love the idea…“Box it Up!”

Posted on August 12, 2008 by Sara Hickman. | 1 Comment

Dear Sara,

I was just in Austin over the weekend, my first time as an
actual visitor rather than just “passing through”
and found myself stunned at the amount of homeless folks I
saw. Can you tell me more about that? Has it gotten
worse lately with our dwindling economy, or is it because
Austin is so much more compact and draws so many to it…?

I was mainly around the I-35/Downtown area, so on almost
every entrance onto the highway, there was a homeless man,
always a man, looking for help. I did what I could, but… What’s going on?

Yours in humanity,
Jen Sturch

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for asking. Yes, the homeless problem is very evident in Austin
because there are many, many people without shelter or homes. There is a lot of
support, although never enough or never quite adequate, to
help those who are displaced. The weather here is fair, we have Mobile Loaves and Fishes and the
ARCH (which is, frankly, pretty scary, but still..it is something) and these are some of the elements that attract folks to our city. Our
church, and many others, feed the homeless breakfast so that each day of the week folks are
covered for a meal in the morning time. But that doesn’t mean EVERYONE is fed, nor does it cover lunch or dinner.

I wouldn’t hesitate to state that the homeless problem is growing in leaps
and bounds because of the state of the economy. More and
more middle class folks are also being pushed into the ranks of poverty, and homelessness, and there
doesn’t seem to be any end in site. A lot of development in Austin alone has
pushed people out of their lower income neighborhoods. It is deplorable and frustrating.

I think this is just the tip of the iceberg, and things will continue to worsen
unless someone with foresight and power can pull elements of society together,
including the general public, to understand the downfall of so many downtrodden folks.

I wish you peace, and thank you for asking. I hope you can get involved at some
level to help in any way you can.

In Grace and Gratitude,

Dear Sara,

Thank you for that. It’s something else, quite overwhelming. Here’s an idea. This seems almost
silly, but if I’ve learned anything by this point in my
life it’s that you have to say what you think and maybe
it’ll work, maybe not, but ya’ gotta try (years in theatre taught me that one!).

My girlfriend and I had just finished up a huge meal at Bess Bistro. Boy, it was good! But we had lots of
leftovers. The waitress was about to clean up when I said, “Box it up, I’m sure someone wants this.”
And, of course, we found someone on the street who was desperate for it. Is there any way, you think, that a
message could get out there to “box it up” for the homeless?

It’s a thought. An idea. A brainstorm.

I’m up here in Dallas. What can I do? I can write. I can speak. I was a professional stage manager
for ten years… I mean, I’m in transition myself and am looking for my niche in Texas (think it may be in
Houston) having just moved here, but I am willing to do something.

Box it up for the homeless might not be such a bad idea.

Best to you in everything and I adore your music!
Jen Sturch

Dear Jennifer!

I love that idea…”Box it Up!”

That is an excellent way to get people to be aware of their own abundance and how they can make an immediate difference!

I’ve done it for years, ESPECIALLY if I am at a big conference, and I see food on trays that will just be pitched out afterwards. I’ve gotten lots and lots of food that way.
(Some companies won’t allow it for fear of lawsuits…good golly! But I always ask…and many times, I can get the flower arrangements, too, and take those to the elderly
at retirement centers…)

And…what we really need to do, though, is figure out ways to get people to understand and CARE that the hemorraging must stop at the source…
we must get people to care that the homeless aren’t just “those people”, they are our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, neighbors…
keep being a part of the solution, jennifer! get a “box it up” system started in your community

i’ll post our letters on my blog and see if i can get people excited about it, too


One response to “I love the idea…“Box it Up!””

  1. Alan Graham says:


    Go check out http://www.mlfnow.org/how to see our revolutionary new housing program Habitat on Wheels to address the issue of the chronically homeless. Share this with your fans! Love your blog.


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