in action | #action2015
I'm going to talk about two things right now, things that don't fit into the realm of things I usually talk about, but are incredibly important all the same. One is people, and one is food.
This weekend, I was in New York City. We will talk about that and see all the outfit photos and the selfies later. Now, we will talk about the things, or rather, people, who are not photographed. Not talked about. Not smiled at. New York City has one of the largest homeless populations in the country. Everywhere there are people who lost their job, their life, their luck. They're in doorframes and garages. They're adults, and more and more likely- teenagers. For these people, the poverty line is a cathedral ceiling. Not a glass one, because no one sees them. It's not just NYC either. Here at home, I have volunteered at a food bank during the holidays for the last eight years. It's one of the few things I call a tradition. I spent a flicker of time talking to people, learning about that moment in their life, what brought them. Every year, there are more people, and they're getting younger. This year, I talked to a 19 year old guy who had been homeless for three years, since he was barely 16, before he got a job, and he told me that this year, he was going to host Thanksgiving for his family with help from the food closet. It would be the first time his family had Thankgiving with a full turkey. I'm not trying to pull heartstrings or tears out of you, and I'm not Gwyneth Paltrow - I just want to share this story, because it's important.
This year, Action/2015, will be working with Save the Children and hundreds of others to get people together in two massive conferences centering on important issues, including poverty. They are using the voice of a generation to tell the world what needs to happen. Kids shouldn't be living on the streets, being ignored. Maybe to make that change, other kids need to say something. We as a generation have so many advantages that we can use to change our world. Not in ten years, or five. This year. Changing now will change the future.
You can follow along with Action/2015 here, and spread the message using the hashtag #Action2015. To learn more about teen homelessness, or if you personally need a little help, click here.
Your mom probably told you to not talk to strangers, and if some dude rolls up in a van he claims is full of puppies, run like the wind. But if a person sitting on a sidewalk with all their possessions makes eye contact, don't pretend they don't exist. Say good morning, smile, compliment their dog. Be a nice human. It might just inspire a change.
ps. full disclaimer: action/2015 reached out to me to talk about their organization with compensation, but this is an issue that has been close to me for years, and my promise to you will always apply.
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