This week is Earth Week and the theme is “Invest In Our Planet”. So what does Earth Week have to do with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul you might ask? Well, let us share a few informational facts and tidbits.
During Earth Week, we are educated through social media, television, podcasts, and so on, on our environment, climate change, recycling, etc. Our Homeless Friends in Need encounter many of today’s environmental hazards from soil and water contamination, air and noise pollution, and being exposed to severe weather events.
Because of climate change, our Homeless Friends in Need are susceptible to illness and death, again mainly because of the air pollution and any underlying respiratory and cardiovascular conditions which they might have that are most likely never seen by a medical professional. Sadly, those that are sheltered or unsheltered, the short- and long-term homeless, will experience negative health outcomes.
We have been able to take every day recyclable items and make them into something useful for the homeless. At the Mt. Greenwood Community Church they started a “beds for the Homeless ministry. They help the homeless by recycling plastic bags into mats! They meet once a week and make mats that provide a bit of cushion and are moisture resistant on a cold wet ground.
A local carpenter in Chicago was featured on ABC7 Chicago in November 2020. He was born and raised in the Robert Taylor Homes and now, besides being a carpenter for a living, builds tiny homes for the homeless. He uses extra pieces of scrap materials from jobs that will be tossed out and purchases necessary items with donations he receives, to build tiny “studio” size buildings for the many who live on the street.
So how can you help our environment and our Homeless Friends in Need:
· Save your plastic grocery store bags. Find a local ministry that makes plastic mats for the homeless. Did you know it takes hundreds of bags to make a mat? These ministries can never have enough.
· For those who are carpenters, reach out and lend a hand, use your experience and consider donating time to help build small shelters for the homeless. Reach out to community organizations. See if there’s a need for this type of project in your community. If not, find a place that has a need.
· For the rest of us, maybe we don’t use plastic bags at the grocery store because we have our own reusable bags. Maybe we are not builders. So how can we help? A monetary donation to Investing in Our Homeless Friends in Need program can help a thousand times over. Something as small as $5 can mean the world to someone who has nothing.
We hope during Earth Week you will “Invest In Our Planet” and consider “Investing in Our Homeless Friends in Need”. Click on the link below to make a difference in someone’s life.
Be a part of something special.