In Michael Jackson’s chart topper, “Man in the Mirror” with the backing of the Andrae Crouch choir, he sings “They follow the pattern of the wind ya’ see, ‘Cause they got no place to be, That’s why I’m starting with me…”.
These lyrics were a poetic call to action to serve the greater good in humanity. While the song may have disappeared from its top place in the charts, that call to action is still real.
This week marks the 2019 National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. The goal of this week is to draw public attention to the faces, statistics, and challenges of poverty. There will be a series of events, shinning a light on hunger and homelessness, taking place in Kenosha County.
The Homeless Awareness and Prevention Partner network (sub-committee of the Emergency Services Network) will be hosting an array of events to shed light poverty. While we revisit those lyrics: “I’m gonna make a change … I’m starting with the man in the mirror,” ask yourself how you too can make a change and get involved.
Here’s how you can help: Support your local pantries by organizing a food drive and donate gently used coats or winter boots to the ELCA Outreach Center. Additionally, you can donate socks, gloves, deodorant, lip balm, hand/feet warmers, or toothpaste, toothbrushes, or anything that would help fill care packages given to homeless individuals and families. These items can be dropped off at the Shalom Center, Women’s & Children’s Horizon, or Kenosha Human Development Services.
Here are additional ways to get involved:
Tuesday: Wear “Orange” to raise awareness for this who are hungry.
Wednesday: Wear “Purple” for those who are experiencing homelessness.
Thursday: Resource Fair and Candlelight vigil at the Shalom Center 4314-39th Ave, from 5PM to 6PM. The vigil will begin from 6PM-6:15PM. All are invited.
Saturday: Shine a light in your window to “raise” awareness of hunger and homelessness from 6PM to 10PM.
Friends, while we set aside this week to shed a light on the issues of hunger and homelessness, please remember that support is needed 365 days a year. This year, let’s light the biggest light on the issues facing our neighbors who struggle with hunger and homelessness.
Throughout the week, use the hashtag #HHWeek on social media to participate in the conversation. Learn more about how you can get involved at the Shalom Center by visiting our website at www.shalomcenter.org or contact our office at 262-658-1713.
Let us continue being H.O.P.E (Helping Other People Every day) Builders.
Tamarra Coleman is executive director of the Shalom Center in Kenosha.