[H]aving grown up in L.A., passing by the homeless, seeing them at the exits of freeways, was a regular scene – one that I commonly walked around, avoided, or didn’t pay much attention. It wasn’t until I moved to Orange County with my husband and three children, that my perspective changed. Four years ago, when I went to downtown L.A. to visit a client, and as I walked around some homeless men cuddled up on the sidewalk, my motherly instinct wanted to put my arms around them, cover them up, and say “it will be o.k.”. When I got home, I told David we should collect blankets and pass them out in L.A. He agreed but we knew it was a bigger task than we alone could tackle. The following Sunday at church, I saw “the ad” in the bulletin to get involved with the homeless at Mary’s Kitchen. I immediately thought, this is the answer.

At first, my daughter Sydney and I volunteered to help out with the meal and instantly felt a connection, not only to the cause but to the common desire of the hearts serving there. We met Scott, Steve, and Dan who all inspired me with their dedication. After serving a few weeks, I voiced an opinion that while this was a great set up to come to Mary’s Kitchen and be fed, what about those who cannot physically come and be fed? Scott agreed with the concern and I soon got a call from Steve asking me to lead, go, take, and feed at other locations. My initial thought was no, not me, someone else. Being a female, mother of a 2 year-old, was not suitable for the task. With much urging from Steve (actually God), I agreed with much uncertainty.

The first time out, I was sent with friend serving that day, Ron Amos. We had thirty lunch bags to pass out so we headed out to Santa Ana thinking this will be a quick drop off. Strangely when we arrived, the streets were quiet with not many people walking around and no homeless people to be found. We drove around street to street, and a park hoping to find a pocket of people needing some food but only came across a few who looked marginal of being homeless and not wanting to offend anyone, we thought of going back with our lunch bags. That’s when Ron said “God will lead us” and sure enough as I turned a corner on Ross, we saw someone sitting on a bench and he clearly looked homeless so we thought at least we could give one bag away. So we pulled up, asked him if he was hungry. He replied yes and as we handed him a bag. That’s when a swarm of people came running across the street to take a bag and we were out in 2 minutes. Many left empty handed but we told them we would be back the following Saturday and now they still wait for their lunch bags every Saturday at the same location.