Sunday, July 1, 2012

101.5 Gallons

That's how much water I - with the help of donations and friends- purchased and distributed around Bloomington.  101.5 gallons!  It broke down like this:

32 cases of bottled water (that is 768 bottles!)
20oz bottle (I handed this directly to a panhandler)
8 gallon jugs
6 watermelons
4 umbrellas for shade

Friday, I made two trips to the grocery store to distribute water and melons to three churches - two that host meals over the weekend, and one that hosts a summer overnight shelter.  A friend/neighbor picked up a bunch of it to store in her church's fridge and also to distribute to a few parks that afternoon.

Saturday I made another trip to the grocery store for more water, which I delivered to a fourth church (they host breakfast on Sundays).  I also stopped and gave the cold 20oz bottle of water to a panhandler.  He had moved from the median into the shade, which was a much tougher place to spot him, but I was glad he was not in direct sun - it was 2PM.  When I pulled over and held out the water, he said, "Oh thank God!"

Today (Sunday) I went to my friend's church (she's one of the pastors there) and picked up 6 cases of water and 2 watermelons.  I distributed them plus the four umbrellas to a couple of parks.

It feels good to know that that much water circulated and was available to anyone who needed it this weekend.  When I dropped off cases at these parks, men ran to help me so I didn't have to walk very far at all.  They were thankful.  At one park, there were two fairly large groups of people gathered in the shade of a couple trees - probably a couple dozen people or more in total.  Not only did I see them distributing the cases through the two groups, but as I was driving away I saw a couple of men carrying bottles to others who were across the street and not at the park.  They were taking care of each other, and it was an even greater relief to know that they were also probably making sure the water was distributed amongst themselves.

At the churches, I was often asked who I was affiliated with.  I have said that I am going to start saying "I'm affiliated with moms and the rest of humanity."

It struck me that it is not often that people just decide to do something for others on their own - and that I almost didn't act on this because there was no previously-organized way to do it.  And because, in all honesty (and as I pointed to a bit in my original post about this project), there is some fear of fellow man going on.  I'm not sure yet if those fears are appropriate, justified, etc.  Certainly I felt exactly zero threat from (some very large) men as I was giving them water in almost 100-degree heat.

Thank you - THANK YOU - to everyone who donated, who helped, and who was inspired to give a helping hand in various ways (I've had emails and seen posts on Facebook, and my heart just might burst).

It's only now July - I will almost certainly organize something like this again during another heat advisory this summer!
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