Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cheerful Giving is The Way To Go; An Experience to Remember!

March 5, 2016 was the official kick-off for the first Cheerful Givers Clothes and Food Drive for the homeless.  This act of benevolence was inspired by the story of an investment banker who lived on the streets for five years before being able to transition back into the workforce, as told to Trent Sawyer by one of his colleagues. Trent Sawyer, Erica Briscoe and Angelique Ka'mil are spearheading the Cheerful Givers movement, which quickly grew and evolved from the day Trent Sawyer took a bag of clothes to a vacant parking lot and distributed the contents. It is now a full-blown day of charity with 20-plus volunteers, countless donations, fellowship, praise and worship. It all took place in Renaissance Park in Atlanta, GA. The whole event was planned and executed within three weeks. It's safe to say that God truly does love a cheerful giver, and I believe the fruit of the labor from this event is the proof of that.

My daughter and I were two of the volunteers, and it was a very humbling experience. I do all kinds of volunteer service all the time, but I've never worked directly with the homeless. I remember being in the store, filling my cart with items and trying to put myself in the shoes of a homeless person—no shelter, electricity, gas, food or water. One thing I learned is that sometimes we take things for granted and begin to feel "entitled." We can quickly forget just how blessed we are. I've been homeless, along with my daughter, while going through a divorce, so I understand firsthand how quickly things can shift in your life. One day you can be at the top, and next month you might be in a similar displaced situation.

I stand firm and strong on community service. Maya Angelou has a saying that I love: “When you learn, teach, and when you get, give.” When we work together, amazing things can happen; change is possible, and improvement is attainable. If you're in the Metro Atlanta area and would like to help make a change, stay connected to The Cheerful Givers Clothes and Food Drive.

Here are a few 2015 stats on homelessness for Georgia (full report):

Unsheltered 5,803
Emergency shelter or transitional housing 7,987

Total 13,790 homeless individuals, which is down 19% from 2013

Overall, 64% of homeless are men

30% are families with children
70% single adults
4% of adults are between the ages of 18-24

Many experience homelessness as a result of

Mental illness
Family violence
Physical disability or chronic medical problems
Substance abuse
Development disability and/or brain injury
Criminal background

Always. Be. Thankful. 🤗Always. Be. Grateful. 󾍛🏼ALWAYS. GOOD MORNING! ☀️#CheerfulGivers 󾬐JOIN US!
Posted by The Cheerful Givers Clothes and Food Drive on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

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