September 24th, we took help-a-human to a new level, A BBQ! This weakend was full of authentic sharing, lots of laughter, great conversation and loads of food! We had close to 200 pillow cases and barbequed for 150 people. We handed out burgers, hot dogs, chicken patties, chips, pickles and water. Thank you to EVERYONE who was there helping and donated to make this weekend so spectacular. I want to put a special thanks to my dad, Michael Scozzaro, who did an AMAZING job working the grill on his 49th birthday! We already have our eyes on October 22nd! Please if you have any suggestions, questions or donations please share with us, we want you ALL involved!
Long and Loving!
May 2011, I was introduced to Help-A-Human and my life will never be the same. I remember the night my brother shared Help-A-Human with me, “Danielle I have something you will love!” Michael says “This is perfect for you and I want you there with me”. People who don’t my brother and I, we have one of a kind relationship. Of course if Michaels thinks I will love it, I will LOVE IT! If he wants me there, I AM THERE! So it just happened that the Thursday before the first Help-A-Human was MY first day being welcome into the OPT family. I met Joey Thursday, was at OPT Friday for the collection of our pillow cases and Saturday, sharing our pillow cases with are fellow humans. That Saturday I was filled with emotions; excitement, joy, doubt and fear. My brother and I walked around for about ten minutes before we found our first fellow humans. Talk about the perfect people for our firsts! All fear that I had in me left as we started talking to two gentlemen. We shared our pillow cases with them, as well as many warm smiles and laughs. Never until that moment had I realized how a simple smile can make such a huge impact. As much as they loved my smile, their smiles gave me more comfort than I ever could have imagined. I remember getting home that Saturday and having such a passion for getting more involved. At the time I worked at Starbucks, so I set up a bin collecting all donations from our customers. We got more stuff donated then I could have ever wished for. I then began emailing anywhere and everywhere I thought might donate supplies. I got turned down a lot but sure enough I got some positive responses. We ended up getting tooth paste, tooth brushes and sunscreen donated as well as a few pillow cases. I can’t thank those people enough for helping make help-a-human such a success the past four months.
By reading what both Joey and Shaun have shared I am sure the emphasis of SHARING is very obvious. I have learned sharing yourself to others not only impacts their lives but allows so many different possibilities in your own life. There are many life changing experiences I have had by SHARING myself through Help-A-Human and am so excited to see what is to come. Saturday, July 29th Help-A-Human was on! I made my way over to my very own “two gentlemen” (the ones from the first weekend with the warm smiles) and began sharing. In my letter last month I went into great details about my big plans in my life. I shared with one of the men how I was in the beginning stages of starting my own non-profit organization and from there our conversation exploded. After four hours of sharing about his life, college career, and successful jobs, to my life, college career and future opportunities. He put me in contact with some very powerful people that have helped me learn some ins and outs of starting my own non-profit. He shared many great ideas, and sparked many new ideas with me while pushing me to the next level. I was introduced to so many life changing opportunities by SHARING my passion for starting my own non-profit organization. I learned so many things about him, myself, and life. He taught me the raw facts/truths about the life of a homeless human being, creating even more passion for Help-a-human in my heart. I SHARED a dream of mine, creating an unexplainable relationship with this man. Following the start of that new relationship, my determination to get involved continued to grow. That next Monday night I collected donated clothes from a family friend. While I was driving home I saw a husband and wife standing on the corner with a sign hoping for any help they could get. With my car jam packed with clothes I pulled over. I got a bucket of KFC chicken and asked the couple if they were in need of any clothes and sure enough they were. We spend about an hour sharing stories while they shopped in the back of my car enjoying a KFC dinner. The young lady had expressed how blessed to had felt to get two dresses from my car for her interview tomorrow. Soon enough we went our separate ways, but the happiness I experienced was unexplainable. That next afternoon I was driving past that same corner and there they were, that same couple from the night before. They were sitting at the bus stop, the young lady wearing one of the dresses! So of course I pulled over! She ran over to me with the most sincere smile I have ever seen…she had gotten the job. “Thank you so much, not just for the clothes but for opening your heart to us. Seeing a beautiful young lady with a heart like yours was so inspirational. I knew there was no way I wasn’t getting this job!!” She confessed to me. Remember that happiness I told you I had the night before….well it hit me about 100 times harder. What I have learned from being involved in help-a-human cannot be learned in a classroom. There really is no way of explaining how these experiences have impacted my life. I invite everyone to see for themselves. Share yourself! In sharing yourself opportunities are created that could never be possible otherwise. You become an inspiration to other people as they inspire you. Step out of the box, out of the comfort zone allowing connection, inspiration, motivation and life changing experiences to occur.
This will be the five weekend that those two gentlemen will be who I share with first. I will be bringing them two coffees, one with cream and sugar and one black! They are no longer just two gentlemen, they are friends and I cannot wait to reconnect with them this Saturday. 🙂
This is your second letter of the month…sad to say the first one was all about me…how I viewed myself…how I am transforming as a person…how I am learning to live a powerful life…how I am moving on from the past…how I messed up…pretty much all about me…well damn Reed there is the problem right there…i have been so selfish in one specific area of my life…relationships…I tell people how I am transforming and how I want to live a powerful life…and yes I do, 100% and I do have that power and am committed to living a life I love but its impossible to live a life I love without the ones I love in it…there is one person in specific that I have hurt multiple times…this person is a reason why I am transforming my life into a powerful life I love…this person runs circles in my mind 24/7 for many reasons…he is real…Reed seriously he is the most real person I have ever met…it has taken me a while to warm up to but it’s so FREAKEN AMAZING! It is not often you find someone who says it how it is and says it how he feels…PASSION…he doesn’t just have passion…he lives his life through PASSION!!! Never have I met a person so passionate about anything…he could tell me about the most ridiculous thing ever and with his passion behind it I am interested…I have been lucky enough to be a part of his passion as a person and have fully taken advantage of it…he cares…he really cares about me…would do anything for me…worries about me like no other…he is so simple and so sweet…he has his bumps in the road like everyone else…but excepting those little bumps are SOOOO worth what you get from him!! I have taken it for granted.. I have been so worried about me…make sure I don’t get hurt…making sure I don’t disappoint…making sure I don’t let him all the way in… again…I….I….I….well guess what I hurt him!! There is nothing to say or do to take back the selfishness I have had toward him…my selfishness blinded me to some of the most amazing things I have ever had in my life…blinded me to a person I have always wanted…I was selfish because I didn’t want to share…I wanted him all at once…now I don’t have him at all…all I want is for him to be happy…happy in every area of his life…successful in all areas of his life…powerful in all areas in his life…I want him to know he is loved…of course I want that to be a part of that but I hurt him…I am taking this relationship course right now and we talked about having powerful relationships… no matter what kind of relationship you have with a person for it to be successful there are two things that need to be present… we must be 100% responsible for it… 50% and 50% responsible doesn’t work…well obviously I haven’t been 100% in my relationship…I make excuses and I become selfish…then we look at the concern of a relationship… most peoples’ concerns in a relationship are their own concerns…so in my situation I don’t want to get hurt… I don’t want to mess up…I don’t want to disappoint…I am scared… they are my individual concerns… I have the concerns of having a healthy, powerful and successful relationship but my other concerns take charge. For a successful relationship the concerns of an individual are the concerns of the other person… say my boyfriend’s concerns are “feeling what he does it perfect for me” if I know that’s his concern and I know his efforts are perfect for me then as his partner I better make it known what he does is perfect… if his concern is “I don’t express my feelings” I tend to let MY concerns of “rejections” come before his concern of me expressing my feelings… it really is simple… but I have made it so complicated…my fear of getting rejected or messing up only leads me to messing up and getting rejected…expressing my true feelings for him open up so many possibilities for us…so it’s simple just listen… just listen to him…he has expressed how he hates explaining things, he hates stating the obvious…if I really listen the first time he wouldn’t have to…if my concerns were his concerns I would know the obvious…he is so powerful and it makes sense why he gets so frustrated with people…especially me…he is a blessing in my life and he is crushed because of my selfishness…I am committed to him…to seeing him for him…listening to him…hearing him…showing him me through actions…showing him how much he means to me through actions…he is more than words can explain and I am so very blessed to have met him…
Again thanks for listening ❤
With a clear mind and a full heart!
“Esse Quam Videri”. . . Dont ever forget it!!!
Last months share at Margaret T. Hance park was perhaps one of the greatest days in my life. I took entirely too long to write about it but here it is. . . one of the greatest moments in my short history.
During the month leading up to this share, which would make it our fourth share I found myself spending alot of time thinking about Ray Saunders A LOT. When I met him for the first time it was seemingly nothing impactful to either party. We were in a group of 6 people, 3 of whom were homeless and 3 of whom were with Help A Human. We were all talking, we were all sharing. As the minutes passed we begun to separate ourselves to more one on one conversations. Danielle was talking with Reed (our Morgan Freeman look-a-like), Maegan was talking with Sundance, and I found myself glued to Ray. Ray is tall and slender with a smile that will put the sun to shame and a laugh that will make the birds scatter. His spirit and his story were perhaps what captivated me the most. Hes from New York, he served over 15 years in the military both as a soilder and as a drill seargent. He was a fire fighter during the 9/11 attacks, and now he is here in Phoenix, homeless yet happier than ever. It wasnt fully his choice to be where he is now, but he isnt concerned with that anymore, he focuses on the NOW and how he can impact others lives greater than he can impact his own. I am certain that this is why we attract to one another. We both have September birthdays, so maybe that has something to do with it.
He spends most of his days at a local church where he has his own Sunday School class and daily Bible Study. He is also in charge of organizing all donations and food drives within his church community. Now if you were to read this paragraph without knowing that it was going to be about a homeless person, you would have painted a picture of the American Hero; Tall and strong with pearly whites and a heart of gold. A man who went to college, and got a great job, and who is now giving back to his community through what he knows best. But becuase he is homeless, hungry, and wears leathered skin, and has a “failed” past (as seen through the lens of cultural agreement) we walk over him like a puddle in the road hoping that he doesnt naggingly ask us for spare change. This man has lived a tremendous story, one of which is no where near complete. . . Just take a minute to realize that these people are everywhere, scattered throughout this country who happen to be a bit less fortunate than you and I, yet he is no different than you and I. We all ask ourselves the meaning of life, and we all ask ourselves what our purpose is within it (at least once in our life) and everyone decides to follow that purpose or not. I have, and with all my power I will do everything that I can do to allow for Ray’s story be heard, because this man impacts his community greater than the majority of us who have more than enough means to do so. Just try that on. . . see how it fits. (not intended to be a guilt trip at all)
The days were approaching and our next Help A Human share was coming up and I cant even begin to tell you how excited I was for it. I talked with Ray for a few hours when I first met him and asked him what it was that he truly “needed”. After going back and forth about how he doesnt “need” anything I finally got him to let his guard down and trust me. A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH for the both of us. Once that safety net was down we were now both fully willing and able to communicate on a whole other level; one where we could transcend ordianary conversation and create something meaningful. He needed a radio. Something that he could listen to when he has no one to talk to, when hes alone and all that accompanys him is the city silence. He loves baseball, primarily the Yankees (I strongly dislike the Yankees, but I was willing to let Ray’s devotion be an acception haha). He loves music, and he loves God. He could access all three within a simple radio, powered by two AAA batteries. I was more than willing to give him that. The only hard part was that he was going to have to wait a month until he could use it.
That day finally rolled up and I had my pillowcase ready for “Ray Ray” Saunders. Inside was a variety of things that he could use for the next month until I saw him again but we all know what he was excited for. . . the radio. We got to the park and we immediately begun handing out bags. People in the park know who we are when we show up, becuase we show when we say were going to show, and we bring what we said were going to bring. They have begun to trust us and actually welcome our company. I shared with some new people that I met for about an hour or so, all while clutching tight to the bag that I had made for Ray. I went to the spot where he always is, with Reed and Sundance. He wasnt there. I asked Reed;
“Have you seen Ray?”
Reed responded “No I havent seen him all day, he should be around here somewhere though.”
My heart sunk, I begun to feel some sadness and some anxiety. Was I going to be able to share this bag with him? Will he even get it?
I put all of that aside and begun talking with Reed and Sundance. About an hour passed and no signs of Ray anywhere, I couldnt stop thinking about it. Was he going to show?
Then I heard a voice from across the park.
“SHAUN!!!! SHAUN IS THAT YOU!?!?!?”
It was Ray!!!! My heart leapt and it felt like I was in a movie, he dropped his duffle bag and he had the biggest smile on his face. He saw the pillowcase. He saw me. We got closer and the energy was profound. He came running to me with his arms as wide as they could stretch and when he wrapped them around me, let me tell you from the bottom of my heart, I have NEVER recieved a hug to strong and so powerful, so full of love, emotion, releief and joy in my ENTIRE life. He kissed my neck and repeated “God had blessed me with you” nearly ten times. We separated, looked eachother square in the eyes, and we embraced again, laughing with pure joy, like long lost brothers. He got his radio, and with it came some peace of mind, and a boatload of trust. I promised him one thing, and when he got it he was surprised. He has been let down by many people in his life and when he recieved that simple gift, his past was as transparent as the tears that rolled down his aged face. I have found my purpose, and he has reinforced his own. To transmit to others greater that it was transmitted to us. To be, rather than to appear. To be the change that we wish to see in this world. A dear friend is what I have in Ray, and I am honored to say that he has one in me.
A close friend of mine shared this with me, and it has stuck onto my soul with great purpose, and perhaps it will do the same for you:
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project,
all of your thoughts break their bonds, your mind transcends limitations,
your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself
in a new great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and
talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater
person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
Shaun Rico, CPT