Friday, November 30, 2007

One Man's Gold

It may be a cliche, but one man's junk is really another's gold.

When the sacker at the store asks "paper or plastic" I always answer "plastic, please!" I collect plastic grocery sacks. I have actually become quite adept at it. I know which sackers at my local store are the ones most likely to double bag and avoid those who are stingy. I will even lower myself to use the self check lanes, whereupon a lowly can of soup must be at least quadruple bagged so it does not escape. "Can I follow you home and take the bags when you are through unloading your groceries??" I plaintively cry as the shopper runs to their car, thinking I am some pervert.

When I was at my sister's this weekend I asked why she needed so many plastic bags. "Oh, I don't know, I might need them", she replied. "No you don't, the homeless of Kansas City need them more". I plucked a stack from her hoard and took them home.

It seems, according to my neighbor Mrs F who works with the homeless, that plastic grocery sacks are like gold to those without a place to call their own. Since they have no money or homes to take groceries to, they have a hard time coming by good, clean plastic sacks.

You see, these common plastic sacks, a mere convenience to us, are to a homeless person:

A rain hat

Covers for ragged shoes

Some place to store their worldly possessions

I give a bag full of bags to Mrs F at least once a week. She is always grateful. "Oh, they have been asking, "Mrs F do you have some bags?' and we were out".

I even received a thank you note from some of her clients. A small reminder that little gestures of kindness really do count.

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