It’s April 5th, Tuesday evening / Wednesday morning, 2:56am, and I am laying in my room, aka the Mooch Mobile, parked in my house, aka Walmart parking lot. I’m awaiting the meeting of 3 special people, well, 2 and a half; Shay Kelley & Shane Patrick of Project 50/50 and of course their pretty puppy dog ZuZu. I see a big long bed truck with a camper shell slowly pull into the parking lot, and park on the opposite end overlooking the city. They love parking in places where they can see a great landscape.
At this time I am exhausted and ready to get some sleep, and knowing Shay & Shane must be even more exhausted after helping out on Skid Row, I text Shay and recommend we get some rest and meet in the morning.
At 9:06 the next morning, I text Shay, “Morning!” … 4 minutes later she replies, “Hola dude!!!!” I respond, “Can I come bother you guys now or what!” immediately she replies, “Most freakin definitely lol”.
So finally we get to meet, interviewing each other with warm smiles and enthusiasm in a Walmart parking lot overlooking the city, a bright and warm California sun scattering the adjacent hills. I spend a few minutes playing with ZuZu, she’s so soft and calm and beautiful. Shay is beautiful as well, inside and out, and Shane is very intelligent, but he’s a looker too! LOL
After about 20 minutes of learning each other’s stories, I offered them to come inside my kitchen and feed them breakfast; my kitchen just so happens to be a McDonald’s inside Walmart, I’m so lucky! Shay, Shane and I continued to discuss plans for the near and distant future. I found something in common that I have with Shay, in that she didn’t tell her mother she was homeless for the longest time. I still have not told my mother, but Shay and I both agreed it’s for good reason. This specific truth is not one to tell a mother, for she will only worry, even blame herself. Shay eventually told her mother the truth, but I won’t until I buy my mother a home.
After a warm breakfast, we walked back out to our vehicles where I offered them several bags of goodies for their trip. I even told a local client about what they are doing, and she offered a huge bag of fresh oranges from an orange tree in her backyard. Shane’s eyes were huge when he saw the bag! But I’d like to tell you the items I got for them to deliver, because even they were surprised at the items, saying they never get paper, pens, even meat from donations. I’ll most likely miss a few things, but allow me to list the items and tell you why I chose them.
- single serving cans of whole kernel corn with pop-off lids
pop-off lids require no can opener.
- can openers
so many people donate canned goods, but how do you expect us to open them?
- notebooks and pens
enables us to vent our frustrations, write down ideas, create a journal.
- salmon packets
hearty and filling food, without the mess, yum!
- large spaghettios cans
hearty, filling, tasty and good for you too!
we’re more prone to cuts, especially on our feet.
- banana chips
sweet, healthy, and so crunchy they help keep us warm while we eat.
I may be missing a couple items, but the above list is what I can remember. Donating socks, canned beans and veggies, jackets and shoes are awesome, and I thank you for your generosity. But the list above are needed items that most may not even consider when donating. The items I donated to Project 50/50 are actual items I use myself while living in my car in Los Angeles. If I had more money, I would have purchased gloves, scarves, beanies, shoot I would have bought laptops if I could.
To Shay, Shane & Zuzu, I hope you enjoyed our meeting as much as I did. It’s great to meet normal people, living a not-so-normal life. Funny how us underdogs are capable of changing the lives of others. Stay Passionate my new friends.