It should be noted that some of the recommendations in this article are in contradiction with suggested guidelines of the Lexington government.
Homelessness is a pervasive issue in Lexington, especially downtown. There are people begging for food and money on many street corners. It’s easy to assume that this is not our problem, especially because we are in college. Although I understand this stance, I refuse to accept that nothing can be done. You never know how a small act of kindness can impact someone else.
The most obvious thing to do is give homeless people money. They need money to survive like anyone else, so this is one small and simple way to help out another person in their time of need. I know money can be tight in college, but most of us seem to have enough money for regular Starbucks and Chick-Fil-A trips and an annual Spring Break vacation.
If you are completely honest with yourself, you probably have enough money to give to a homeless person if you chose to. However, if you feel uncomfortable giving someone cash, giving food is another great option. This is just as helpful and impactful as money.
You can even take them to a restaurant to buy them food if you want. There are plenty of options in downtown Lexington, such as Panera. Something that simple could be the highlight of a homeless person’s week.
If you’d rather tackle homelessness from the sidelines rather than on the front lines, perhaps the Salvation Army is a better option for you. They accept clothing and food contributions among other types of donations at their locations, one of which is on Main Street, right in the heart of downtown Lexington. You could clean out your closet, Marie Kondo style, and help clothe homeless people during the cold winter months. This is one of the easiest ways we can contribute to such an important cause and it costs nothing.
There are also many options to volunteer and to serve the homeless community directly in Lexington. There are several homeless shelters that regularly need volunteers, including New Life Day Center, Hope Center, Catholic Action Center, Lexington Rescue Mission and Volunteers of America.
Food banks such as God’s Pantry, Hope Center and Lighthouse Ministries also do their fair share of work to give homeless people a place to stay warm, dry and fed, especially this time of the year. They, like all the organizations I have mentioned, could always use an extra set of hands.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to give back and to serve others. Just because we are in college or don’t have much money or free time does not mean we can not help others. Don’t let excuses prevent you from your chance to serve.
It’s just a Google search away.