Last weekend was my birthday weekend, I turned 35 on Sunday. I asked my close friends and family to make a donation to Chilis on Wheels instead of gifts. Aside from being in a minimalist kick (I have donated most of my belongings except for my kitchen tools), there is no better gift to me, than to allow me to turn on my soul, which is what my work with Chilis on Wheels does. I see no other reason to be alive than to be of service to others-the community, the animals, the world. To turn the tide towards compassion, towards love, kindness, gentleness. I am a survivor of domestic violence, and in the darkest throes I constantly wondered why I was alive to begin with if I was so worthless; why was I born. Being a mother has given me purpose, and also refocused my worldview. Having one son, has made me include the rest of humanity as my responsibility too. It is not about me, it is about the greater good. There is so much violence, so much negativity, so much pain, and I survived it in order to help others survive it too. I was spared so that I may know and share love. True love. Without strings, without expectations, without dependencies. I am alive, I am awake, I am able to feel joy and now I must pay it forward. This is my life. This is how I have found meaning in an otherwise chaotic painful world.
I have come to know most of the folks that we serve. Some of them I consider my friends. People like Irene, who lives in a shelter, doesn’t know where her next meal will come from, but who always has a smile on for everyone, who constantly says “I am so lucky to be surrounded by good people”. That sunshine oozing out of her brightens my days. She helps me to see gratitude as much as I help her by providing lunch.
People like Samantha, who has a strong addiction, which sometimes takes ahold of her. But even when she is not herself, she is kind, and strong, and that inner power is so amazing to be around. I admire resilience.
So I now turn to you and make a passionate plea to help keep Chilis on Wheels afloat. I strongly believe in community, in banding together, synchronized jumping on the teeter-totters so that we may change the world, shake it of its indifference, let it be gentle with one another, compassionate, respectful of all life.
Please make a donation, of any size, ($2.00 pays for one entire vegan meal for one person) and celebrate my birthday by allowing me to continue dishing out compassion! Go here: http://www.chilisonwheels.org/donate/
After a brief thunderstorm, on a very humid and hot day, last Saturday we distributed 55 vegan chili meals, 72 water bottles, and 4 bags of vegan dog food. The need for a free meal is unlimited, but unfortunately our funds are not, so we have sadly faced the need to reduce the amount we serve. We want to profoundly thank Joanne Ehret for her support, as her contribution allowed for Saturdays distribution, and we were able to serve some of our regulars, folks like Maria, and Irene, and Jesús, who count on us to be there every weekend, and our help is one less meal to worry about. A huge thanks to our Veganteers this week, Julianna, Isabella, Ivan, Ollie, Christopher, and Bear. Together we are making a difference in our community, we are spreading the vegan message to park goers, we are sharing our humanity, our love, our compassion with each other and there is nothing more beautiful and worthy of celebration as that.
Please follow this link to make a tax-free donation: http://www.chilisonwheels.org/donate/ Every amount helps us to provide a vegan meal to those in need. Help us feed our community. Help us dish out compassion!