Poverty isn't just for Christmas (or Living in Abundance and Generosity)

Posted by Jessica Duncan on

I really didn’t know what to think or feel when Amy, my friend who does outreach work for See Spring Mental Wellness Coalition told me that some of the folk camping in Topaz Park had stashed some cups of REALITY BITES to give to each other as Christmas gifts. I suppose my initial reaction was a rush of warm and fuzzy emotion.  It is truly heartwarming to know that our REALITY BITES are so cherished and enjoyed by the recipients.  The gift that you have given to complete strangers has become a gift of love shared within the struggling community of unhoused people in Topaz Park. It is good to know that we are providing something that they like so much that they want to share them with their friends.  It is also very enlightening to think about this level of generosity, where those who have almost nothing, still find ways to share and care for others.

Like most of us, I have been fully indoctrinated into the capitalist mindset of scarcity. We are taught from such an early age to cling to what we have and to amass what we can because the threat of losing everything is always looming.  Over the past few years, however, I have been working hard to shift from seeing my world through the scarcity lens to seeing it through the lens of abundance and generosity, and let me tell you, I’m much happier and less stressed out since making this shift. And Amy’s story from Topaz Park really brought this lesson home for me this week.  I love the saying “When you have enough, build a longer table, not a wall.”  That is what we are doing with the REALITY BITES.  We - all of us - are recognizing when our needs are met and we are in the position to share our good fortune with others who have so very little.

As you probably know, the REALITY BITES were created specifically to meet the needs of the recipients.  Amy has reported how grateful they are that the bites are soft and easy to chew. She tells me that the people eating the REALITY BITES are seeing noticeable lifts in their blood sugar and energy levels.  She hasn’t said so yet, but I’m guessing that the recipients are also tasting the care and concern we bake into every bite. 

Like puppies, poverty isn’t just for Christmas.  Poverty isn’t going anywhere soon, so it is up to those of us who have enough to help those who don’t.  Since launching the REALITY BITES just over 1 month ago, thanks to you, we have delivered almost 250 cups of kindness to folk who, through no fault of their own, are struggling to survive unsheltered in this brutal winter weather.  It is not nearly enough, but it is making a positive difference in the lives of the individuals receiving them. While we continue to advocate for a world that ensures everyone is housed, we are providing nourishment and care. Poverty will continue to be a daily reality all around us, and your ongoing generosity will continue to benefit our unhoused and under-waged neighbours.

As in the story of Stone Soup, when everyone brings a little of what they’ve got to the big pot, something wonderful happens. As well as providing enough nourishment for everyone, community is created.  It is amazing what can happen when we all pitch in. 

 With deep gratitude,  Jessica (she/her)


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  • Merci Jessica for spreading goodness into the world! I’m thankful you’re my friend and you teach me in small ways how to make the world a better place.

    Diane Shaskin on

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