So there were these two Boy Scout leaders striking up a conversation recently and getting to know each other at some Scout thing or other. One was Muslim and one was our Mormon bishop. Together they hatched an idea.
And that is why today we bought half a dozen Costco packs of toothbrushes and happened to walk in the door at our church at the same time as a Muslim man was walking in with a stack of toothpaste boxes.
A lot had been donated. People were really throwing their hearts into this.
Long rows of tables were set up with shampoo, deodorant, dental stuff, soap, kleenex, crayons, coloring books, etc: grab a bag, walk the lines and fill’er up. Boxes of diapers over here.
I would have brought finger puppets (some pictures here) had I thought of it and had I had enough.
Housing costs are so breathtakingly high here that we don’t have refugees resettling in the area so we were doing this for a homeless shelter. The big room was full of people, all of us wanting to come together to help our fellow man and to share the experience with others of faith that we’d like to get to know better. A side row of tables was full of snacks and cheerful people making sure there were more.
There is an old Mormon how-many-to-change-a-lightbulb joke. Three: one to change it and two to serve refreshments. I noted with a laugh that all the refreshments looked pretty healthy, lots of fresh fruit there. Actually, though, we do like our baked goods and desserts as much as anyone, just don’t tell.
One man had emigrated here as a child and had grown up in upstate New York and was thrilled when I told him I’d hiked Watkins Glen as a kid and loved the waterfalls. He said his kids didn’t understand this weird concept of shoveling snow and what it was like. At. All.
Yeah, ours neither, we laughed.
It was a chance to ask religious questions of each other, too, in a safe and welcoming place.
Our New Yorker friend wished they had a building such as ours to meet in and several people asked for a tour. Then several more, so Richard took a second group around to see, about the time the first circled back to the main room.
I can’t wait to do something like this again. And Jasmin, the New Yorker guy lived for a few years in your neck of the woods and thought he remembered, almost remembered, almost could place your family’s names. Abrara says hi.
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