(photo credit: www.dosomething.org)
Whenever I, my mom, or dad give our a "Believer Kit", they send a message on the family group chat to let the rest of us know. It makes us each smile because we know that we have made a difference. The other day, my dad was running errands and texted us to say "I just handed out a Believer Kit!" and reminded me that he didn't have any more in his car.
When I was originally developing the idea, it was important to me that each kit not just have the basic necessities in it, but also treats, something that the person receiving it might be surprised by. I know that some may just want or need the food, or the gift card, but maybe something else in the kit will cheer them up or give them hope. Each person is different and may appreciate different things.
One of the things that I put in most of the kits is some sort of puzzle or game book and a pen. That may seem like the last thing that someone needs, but I find them cheap at the dollar stores and it is worth the chance. It is one of those things that I don't think my dad really thought was essential in the kit, but since it was my project, he let me go with it. Most times, I really don't get a chance to see how people react, some quickly go through it and pull something out, others set it aside for later, but I guess I really don't need to know. It is theirs and how they react and what they like or need out of it is up to them.
When my dad came home from his errands, he told us about the person who he gave the Believer Kit to. He was younger, an Army veteran, he looked hungry and definitely homeless. My dad said he was stopped at a light for a pretty long time so we watched as the person pulled the water bottle and a snack out of the bag, then walked away from the road towards a tree where an older man was sitting. He said the older man looked like he was a veteran as well, he was occupied with something, and the younger man pulled out the puzzle book and handed it to the older man who started to go through it. My dad said it was the first time he has seen someone react that way about the puzzle book.
We can only assume that they were Army veterans, maybe they knew each other. My dad said it seemed like the younger man was watching over the older man, but that is hard to tell in just a few seconds. We've built and given away over 180 Believer Kits so far since I started this project and I am sure that some threw the puzzle book away, others may have found some joy in it. Sometimes we see families that are homeless and maybe it helps. But if it made one person's day a bit brighter, the effort is well worth it.