2016 StreetCorner Gourmets Christmas Winter Picnic-On-The-Street

Here’s a short video of our Boys Hope Girls Hope Team at work to make the 2016 StreetCorner Gourmets Christmas Winter Picnic-On-The-Street a success.

They took initiative—shovelling snow in the earliest morning hours, breaking down accumulating sidewalk ice, salting the sidewalks and long flight of steps outside our borrowed church basement workspace, helping adjacent Food Pantry guests carry their shopping carts and bundles up icy steps, clearing storm drains at the street corner and cutting paths through slippery plowed and unplowed slush to make it easier for the neighborhood Food Pantry guests to accomplish their mission there and then join our StreetCorner Gourmets guests on our waiting line across the street.

Our young men were unequivocally admirable from early morning right thru into the afternoon. They worked intensely, vigorously. Our young ladies brought their blankets mid-morning after a difficult commute, and took up their companionship role just as the snow turned to icy wet sleet. With contagious good spirit, our teens accompanied our guests, one-on-one, during their wait while weather-delayed deliveries of blankets and food ingredients were assembled indoor and on our Distribution Center truck. Just by their presence, one-on-one with our street guests on line in the slapping winds, our teens reassured everyone that each would have an opportunity to select from assorted gifts for their children, as well as snatch up our jumbo pastrami sandwiches and fresh pears and grapes and a new blanket. It was a most challenging, but very sweet, day for all.

The StreetCorner Gourmets have been there when nobody else in their right mind would have been, in all kinds of windstorms and rain and snow and (some years) bright sunbeams, for 49 years. Not sure what that says about our right minds, but the neighbors who ventured out of the projects, shelters, doorways, and subways early yesterday when the day was at its worst KNEW we would be there.

We were all cold and wet-thru after hours on the street yesterday, but the smiles. the sincere, warmhearted, kind interactions and personal storytelling and genuine enthusiasm of our young team and all our other volunteers kept us warm enough to endure it for a few hours. We were warmer inside than out.

The Boys Hope Girls Hope team brought abundant KINDNESS to Christmas for the brave and hardy women and men of the neighborhood who stood with us in the cold with grace. They had come out into the freezing day hoping for far less than they found our team was giving. So it is with a life of kindness. We can’t fix all that is broken, but we CAN and DO bring human compassion and companionship into people’s lives.

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