2017 Winter-Picnic-on-the-Street

2017 Winter Picnic-On-The-Street is on Saturday, December 16th

Please join us and volunteer for our 2017 Winter-Picnic-on-the-Street. The shared meal features our coveted signature pastrami sandwiches (Katz’s uniquely cured pastrami on Eli’s raisin-pecan bread with honey mustard). Guests also take home fresh red pears and fat, juicy green grapes… and the big gift of the day is a new blanket to give new meaning to “warm Christmas greetings” for people who live on the street or in unheated buildings.

Saturday’s winter picnic will bring companionship, conversation, a little dignity, and a warm blanket to hundreds of people who are homeless on the street and in sub-standard (often, neglected and illegal) buildings. We all eat together, true picnic-style. EVERYBODY knows that Sister Mary brings not just “pastrami”, but “KATZ’s PASTRAMI”…with zingy Honeycup Honey Mustard, on Eli’s raisin pecan bread. Fresh juicy pears and grapes are the go-withs.Then, comes the new blanket, and genuine hugs from our volunteers who range in age from infants in arms, to young moms and dads teaching their own excited little kids to think of others, to teens from our youth programs, to hard-working immigrant laborers. They all join me for the day. You can feel the enthusiasm and genuine kindness in the air.

Volunteers are urged to bring with them a gently-used or new knit hat and gloves, to keep these in their own coat pockets until a graceful moment, and then gently ask the street-guest you’re accompanying on line something to the effect of, “I keep getting hats and gloves for Christmas gifts. I’m over-stocked. Could you take these for yourself? — or pass them on to somebody you know who might be glad to get them?”

It’s easier for people to accept your gift if they don’t feel beholden to you, but rather feel that you’ve made them your new meal partner and trusted ally. You lift them up at a moment when they’re feeling, very likely, uncomfortable, uneasy, not exactly on top of their game.

Please feel free also to bring along a small Christmas ornament that you can hang on a jacket button — yours first, and then, before you leave for the day, transfer it with a Christmas smile to a street-guest’s button.

Chores that need to be attended to all day are the collapsing of cartons and carrying cartons and other organized garbage and refuse to our assigned spot at the foot of a lamp post outside the firehouse. I prefer to ask my adult volunteers to do this, rather than relying on my teenage majority of volunteers to cross 6 lanes of traffic repeatedly.

To volunteer, contact mary@yes-solutions.org.

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