13 December 2011

your stories and bakin' it to the streets

It's been eight months since I started bakin' it to the streets with the boys: twice a month we bake something, or make some lunches, or buy donuts and hit the road to brighten the day of someone in need. With a homeless population of over 8,000 here, it usually isn't hard to find a person or two to share with.

And something has happened in the process.

My heart broke. 
Our outings went from a nicety - teaching my kids about sharing with those in need, handing out treats - to a calling
There is so much hurt and sadness and hopelessness in some of the faces I meet.
There are so many who need an outstretched hand, a smile of hope, a moment of prayer. 
I can't do much, but I can do that.
So, we will continue. I will post about our experiences once a month or so, and I encourage you to continue to share your stories in the comments section. They are such a blessing to read.

Here are a few sweet words that have stuck with me:

We live in a community with a fair amount of homeless people that come out of hiding once in a while to ask for money around our grocery stores and restaurants. Last weekend I was popping into a grocery store (without the kids so I was able to be a little more aware of my surroundings rather than keeping their hands to themselves) and I noticed a man asking people for money.. It's not hard not to recognize it.. so I went in and and came out and sure enough he was waiting by the door to ask me. I didn't have any change on me as I just had my debit card, but I did have a bottle of Ginger Ale with me. So I asked him if he would like to have it and he said yes. He was so thankful and held out his hand for me to shake it - of course I did and I pray that he felt respected. He sat down, opened his pop and waved and smiled at me as I drove away.
Jordan Anne
I made care packages with my students to pass out to the homeless here and when one student passed her's to a woman on the street corner, the woman starting weeping and said she'd almost given up. Doing something, even if it's small, can give hope!

I know I can't change the world, but I can spread love and hope at all times. We went downtown last Saturday and fed some homeless people, and a man we call a friend. He is always on the same street, and we take food down to him every time we go down there. He is so sweet and smiles each time. He touches my heart so much. I have been blessed and my life has been changed in so many spiritual ways since we've started feeding the hungry. 
Carina, my students (aka the entire St. Thomas More middle school) are doing Bakin' it to the Streets on Monday. We are making and delivering 50 sack lunches (complete with cookies!) to the less fortunate at Lafayette Park in DC. Your idea has gone from one coast to another!
Sometimes I think it's pointless to do so little, but what may seem little to me could be huge to someone else. When we lived near downtown Lincoln (NE), when we passed a homeless person, my husband and I would always ask them if they wanted something to eat. If they said yes, we would get something to go from the restaurant and bring it back to them. Once we saw a group of three men sharing food we bought for the one (we didn't realize he wasn't the only person, otherwise we would have gotten more food). It was seriously so heartbreaking to see three grown men so hungry.

Thanks for sharing YOUR stories. 


  1. Working downtown can be challenging. I used to work in South Lake Union but now I'm in the heart of Seattle's downtown core, only a few blocks south of Westlake Center and a few up from Pioneer Square.

    Everyday I am faced with the reality of life and the pain and suffering some people have. I can not ignore it and when I can, I try to smile and give away some food--which unfortunately some people won't take.

    Recently I was able to purchase food for a man and to shake his hand and hear his name.

    I will have a hard time forgetting Jim.

    Thanks for this inspiration Carina!

  2. I really want to get involved!

    When is the next time you're doing Bakin' it to the streets?

  3. I love this! I love that you have recognized that your nicety is your calling because so many people are to afraid to invest the time and energy into more than just a nicety. I am sure your boys are being impacted so tremendously by this! How beautiful that you are helping others and teaching them in the process! Thanks for stopping by my blog last week, by the way! I want to try that hazelnut coffee you mentioned! YUM! ;)

  4. I can not tell you how awesome of an idea this is! I would love to start doing "Bakin' it to the streets" in my city :) It's amazing the feeling you get from giving to others. Newest follower :)

  5. I am VERY proud of you Carina.

  6. i think that is really great that you do that. when i lived in tokyo we would make riceballs and deliver them to the homeless who would line up just to get their one ball of rice. i had almost forgotten. thank you for helping me remember.

    your newest follower,

  7. I love this Carina! What a fantastic thing. I may copy you. We have bought food for homeless people we see in our community when we are out but not a on a regular basis.
    Thanks for linking up ;)

  8. When you said, my heart broke, I get it. There are many times after we share food, that I cry all the way home. I wish the people that turn their backs on the needy could really see the big picture. I have so much on my heart about them, and about what God is calling us to do for them, for HIM! Bless your sweet heart for sharing this, and for sharing the good news that Jesus loves every one of us. xoxo.

  9. ps. Sometime in the next week or so, we are going to take Christmas cards and candy canes and pass them out. I love cards, and I think about the homeless and hope that maybe a card would brighten their day?! What if it is the only Christmas greeting and message of hope that they receive this year? I hope it makes a small difference.

  10. my heart breaks just reading these stories. you are an example that you can do good for others... in such a tactile way... even when you have little ones. i admire your commitment..

  11. amen. so grateful for your putting action to your inspiration. such a blessing to see the lord work in hearts THROUGH our hearts! press on xoxo

  12. It's really humbling to read this. I found you through the Wiegands linkup. I didn't expect to be hit with this, but glad I was. Your images are stunning and heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Carina, Carina! Love you my friend! God has been using you in our small group this year... His story is unfolding as we become less self-focused and reach out to the poor God puts in our path...
    One family has met a neighbor, who is veteran, just starting his life again after returning from overseas in serving our country. They baked him up some goodness, and brought it to him, but he wasn't home. Later that night he came over, thanked them, and asked for one thing: prayer. He's a fellow brother in Christ, and they were so humbled. Many of the poor we meet are fellow brothers and sisters. God calls each of us to put our faith into action.
    Thank you for your tangible way to look for those we encounter who need to be blessed. Often the result is that we are blessed abundantly more than we expect. Love you!

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