Unexpected Care Packs (A Call to Action).

I added a stamped envelope, pen, and paper: inviting them to ’write to someone who misses you.”

Every time I see someone panhandling, sleeping on the street, or hitchiking with a large pack my heart catches. I think back to my long hours of waiting at bus stops in the cold, snow, and rain. I sat watching hundreds of cars go by with only the driver inside. I was resentful then and still often feel guilty if I drive anywhere alone in my minivan.

I watched the people pass by as I sat. I was hungry, tired, cold and wet. I never asked anyone for anything, but I wished desperately that someone would offer me a kind word, a snack, or a ride. I imagined sliding into a warm car and being driven in comfort before being dropped off close to my house. It rarely if ever happened.

I know what it feels like to wonder where I would sleep at night. I know what kind of desperate obsession hunger becomes when you can see others eating things you cannot have. I can easily disregard the choices that may have led people to the point where they are now: standing with a cardboard sign. I simply see a person suffering, that could benefit from any kindness.

Nowadays I rarely carry cash. All my income is direct-deposited and I don’t often need cash. In those moments when I see someone who is so very much in need, I often wish I had something to give them.

I have recently hit upon an idea I am excited about: care packs. The concept is simple; you buy a box of zipper bags and pack them full of small items that a person living rough or down-on-their-luck might need. You then keep them in your car. When you come across someone in need, you give them a care pack instead of, or in addition to, just handing out cash.

Something like this would have made a world of difference for me. I’ll include a list of items that might be good at the bottom of this post.

This is an article about some people in Jacksonville that have been helping people in this way. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.jacksonville.com/amp/5556519002

Here is my list: Snack bars, protein snacks, rasins, hand sanitizer, face masks, tissues or toilet paper, liquid soap, shampoo, toothbrush/toothpaste, socks, deodorant, soap and washcloth or wipes, a trash bag, a few dollars or a gift card to a grocery store or fast food. * I pack a couple with some feminine hygiene, too. In case I meet a person who needs those.

Drop a comment below with your thoughts? Share pictures if you make some packs of your own!

Have you ever wondered who the best Literary Agents are?

I know. I can hear you saying “the agents that rep your favorite bestsellers are not going to be taking queries.”

Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Needed? Is it Kind?

My (adopted) mom always says “The answer you have is ‘No’ if you don’t ask.” So why not query even your favorite agents? Maybe you’ll be rejected, but maybe not. And, maybe a rejection could lead to a referral, or some valuable feedback.

If you’d like help finding an agent who reps comparable works, maybe try looking here: https://querytracker.net/clients.php?g=W

Reflection on Courage

Age has granted me the clarity needed to understand something that has plagued my understanding since I was very young. Even as a six-year-old I remember watching people hurt, and watching those hurt people turn away and push away those people they longed to be close to.

I understood, as a teenager, that the reason for this was primarily fear of rejection. Never short on hubris or words I have attempted many times, with varying degrees of success, to open their eyes to the fact that they hold the power to end their own pain, and the pain of others, by reaching out to them. By turning toward people and sharing their fears and passions we create connections that heal old wounds and repair burnt bridges. I explain, fruitlessly, that by sharing our fears and passions we open the door to others to do the same, bolstering them by our courage.

What age has finally granted me is the knowledge that reaching out to others when one is afraid requires a profound amount of courage that most people cannot summon. And, that when a person (of any age) can and does summon the courage, one must act to recognize it for the bravery it is, no matter the outcome.

Vulnerability is so courageous when it comes from someone who has been hurt. We have all been hurt.