Thursday, November 12, 2009

Project UpLift

Happy November!!

Can you believe it's already November? I can't. And right now I am REALLY enjoying the weather.....though I know it's going to get cold in just a few days.

I can't believe it's been so long since I blogged last. I guess I just couldn't think of things to write about - so if you ever have ideas...send them my way!!

A few weeks ago (Oct 22-26 to be exact) I went to Longboat Key, Florida to celebrate the wedding of my college roommate and friend Erin to Todd. It was a beautiful wedding and an AMAZING place! Longboat is about 20miles from Sarasota. My best friend Emily from St Louis went with me and we had a great and relaxing time. I highly recommend Longboat Key! You MUST stay on at the Longboat Key Club & Resort. It's just amazing!

As many of you know, I love to volunteer. I enjoy it - such a good feeling...and honestly, I have a hard time saying no! I haven't done much volunteering lately, I think I was a little burnt out. Well, my co-worker Paula has done some volunteering with Project UpLift in the past. Project Uplift goes out to the homeless to provide them food and supplies. Last night, Paula & I along with a co-worker's mom, Trisha all went to volunteer with a nightly delivery. (they deliver Monday, Wednesday & Saturday nights). We got to the warehouse around 430pm to start preparing for the nights ride. Our job was to sort and individually package bread and sweets. We loaded up the car with dinner (last night was friend fish, pasta & soup along with hot chocolate, bread, treats and chips) and supplies. Each truck is stocked with necessities including clothes, toiletries, pet food and water. We went to about 7 different locations. It was great getting out there and helping. Everyone was so friendly and grateful. It was amazing how many homeless have pets...and they wanted to make sure they also got food! At one of our last locations (with only one bag of dog chow left) we met some guys that have an extensive camp set up. They have a dog and cat - who they make sure ALWAYS get fed. Thankfully we had a bag left (or I might be under bridges today trying to find them and get the dog food!!!). They brought this beautiful (and healthy looking) black lab out to meet us - Hobo! (I'm not kidding, that was his name!) They also took us back to see their camp (no worries, we had a guy with us who has done this for seven years and knew we'd be safe!!). It was amazing what they'd done. They'd put together barriers to stop the wind, had a tent, picnic table, etc. It was amazing to see what they had done with what little they had. It seemed to me that many of these people actually enjoy their life. It was also amazing how many younger (closer to my age) people were out there! And how many of these people have been homeless for years.

It was such an eye-opening experience. It sure makes me thankful for EVERYTHING that I have. I came home to my house, my bed, my dogs and my heat. I had trouble sleeping just thinking about all of these great people. I will definitely volunteer again....and I think I'll bring along some dog treats!