Well, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and then BAM! the holidays are upon us. Ahhhh, the holidays. A time for joy and peace and love. A time when friends and family get together, reminisce, share stories and meals, trade gifts of love and good cheer. But honestly, as wonderful as this is and as happy as we all are during this time of year, there is a reality that we should try to remember.
(Even if it is just between the eggnog refills and mistletoe smootching.)
There is an obscene number of homeless and hungry in our country.
More than you can ever imagine.
So let's keep it local...
In New York City...
• Each night as many as 60,000 people -- including more than 22,000 children -- experience homelessness.
• Currently 52,400 homeless men, women, and children bed down each night in the NYC municipal shelter system.
• Additionally, more than 5,000 homeless adults and children sleep each night in other public and private shelters, and thousands more sleep rough on the streets or in other public spaces.
• During the course of each year, more than 111,000 different homeless New Yorkers, including more than 40,000 children, sleep in the municipal shelter system.
Click here for more sad sad information: New York Basic Facts About Homelessness
In New Jersey...
- The estimated number of men, women and children that are homeless over the course of the year in the State of New Jersey is 25,612.
- A total of 3,816 children under the age of 18 were homeless on the night of the count. Of the 3,816 children, 2,211 (57.9%) were six years or younger, and 1,065 (27.9%) were between the ages of seven and seventeen.
- The largest percentage of homeless had been homeless for more than one year (30.5%). 23.0% of the total homeless population reported having at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years (since January 30, 2010).
Click here for more sad sad information: New Jersey Basic Facts About Homelessness
Now this is no way to spend the holidays. Obviously we can't provide homes and jobs and food for everyone but during this cold, dark time of year, can't we do a small something, each of us, to maybe better their upcoming season?
So, the question naturally presents itself, WHAT CAN ONE PERSON DO?? Well, you're in luck, The Alder Home Team has some ideas.
- Call your local shelter and ASK. (Can we donate food, clothing, blankets, serve meals, donate cash?)
2. Respect the homeless as individuals - Give the homeless people the same courtesy and respect you would accord your friends, your family, your employer. Treat them as you would wish to be treated if you needed assistance.
3. Give recyclables - In localities where there is a "bottle law," collecting recyclable cans and bottles is often the only "job" available to the homeless. But it is an honest job that requires initiative. You can help by saving your recyclable bottles, cans, and newspapers and giving them to the homeless instead of taking them to a recycling center or leaving them out for collection. If you live in a larger city, you may wish to leave your recyclables outside for the homeless to pick up -- or give a bagful of cans to a homeless person in your neighborhood.
4. Donate toys - Children living in shelters have few possessions --if any-- including toys. Homeless parents have more urgent demands on what little money they have, such as food and clothing. So often these children have nothing to play with and little to occupy their time. You can donate toys, books, and games to family shelters to distribute to homeless children. For Christmas or Chanukah, ask your friends and co-workers to buy and wrap gifts for homeless children.
5. Volunteer your professional services - No matter what you do for a living, you can help the homeless with your on-the-job talents and skills. Those with clerical skills can train those with little skills. Doctors, psychiatrists, counselors, and dentists can treat the homeless in clinics. Lawyers can help with legal concerns. The homeless' needs are bountiful -- your time and talent won't be wasted.
6. Teach about the homeless - If you do volunteer work with the homeless, you can become an enthusiast and extend your enthusiasm to others. You can infect others with your own sense of devotion by writing letters to the editor of your local paper and by pressing housing issues at election time.
We at The Adler Home Team are confident that if you join us, with an open heart and giving hand, you can help this season. Bring a smile to the face of young children. Bring a ray of hope to the hearts of mothers and fathers, let them know and feel that this holiday season, they too are cared for and loved.
It is a SMALL thing to do for a human being that will forever be a HUGE gift.
Seasons Greetings to you and yours!
The Adler Home Team
The Adler Home Team
Broker Associate & Sales Associate
Have Helped Over 950 Families Complete Their Buying or Selling Dreams!
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