In May of 2011, I became apart of the Help a Human movement. I first joined to support a dear friend and his idea, but this August will be my third time participating and my experience has developed beyond expectations.
The first time I went and delivered the pillowcases I was very timid and nervous to approach people and try to start a conversation. I was terrified of these dirty people just chilling in the park. I saw some people around me make real connections with people, and I didn’t understand how that was possible.
The second time I went out was in July, and it must have been 106 degrees by ten o clock in the morning. I went out into the park without the baggage and thoughts of my last experience, and started talking to people. Some people took my bag and gave gratitude and were on their way. Some people rejected my bag entirely. Some people talked casually with me and kept it moving. That day I met a man named Sundance and we talked out in the heat for hours. Everything from his previous jobs to burritos. That day I learned there are 103 ways to play solitaire, a new definition for the word dyke, and that teeth are not necessary to eat steak. That day I realized that he was a person. Not only was Sundance a person, but so everyone out there in that park are people. The man begging by the freeway is a person. Not a homeless person, a person. For the first time in my life I was grateful, not just for my air conditioned house and pillow top mattress, but for the air in my lungs and the people I have around me.
I look forward to Help a Human every month, and it is not because I want to be a supportive friend. It is more than a donation service, it is people sharing with other people. Sounds simple, and it is, but for some reason that can be one of the hardest things to do.
I am committed to getting the word out about Help a Human. I wear my wrist band almost everyday just so when people ask me what it is I have an opportunity to invite people to join. There have been more and more donations as the months have gone on, but I would like to see more people sharing themselves and being willing to getting an expirence back in return. Last month we had about 90 bags, but there were maybe ten people out on Saturday to hand them out, and I find that pathetic. If you are just looking to make donations, this is not the right place for you. But if you are wanting to make an impact, look no further.
1 of her letters
Inside this pillowcase are things I thought you could benefit from. I want you to know from the get go that I do not pity you and your situation. What ever got you here does not have to keep you here, unless you choose it to. I know the Arizona summers are unforgiving, and I really have a lot of respect for you to deal with it head on. If there is anything you could benefit from that is not in here I would like you to let me know. But besides the stuff in this bag, I would like to share myself with you. My name is Maegan, and I am 19, almost 20 years old. I am a college student at ASU studying environmental sciences and I want to make “green” energy a mainstream source of power for the everyday person. I have great parents and a younger sister, and a totally spoiled dog, and coming out here once a month reminds me how much I appreciate those people in my life. I want to thank you for inspiring me. Not only for dealing with the heat, but to keep on moving through a situation I know may not be ideal. And if it is your ideal situation, I commend you even more. Everyone has problems, big or small, petty or serious, but it how you choose to relate to those problems that makes you. I will be out here on the last Saturday of every month, and I really want to hear your feedback on this letter, on this bag, and maybe tell me your story.