Monday, December 27, 2010

Mitzvah Blessings Project



Socks




Food

Mitzvah Blessings Project

For the last 29 years in honor of my parents, I started a Mitzvah Blessings Project. The mitzvah takes place within the days after Christmas and just before New Years Eve. In recent years, the mitzvah’s took on more meaning, and they are now dedicated mitzvoth. Amen.

The project began one wintery day with me wanting a pair Sorrels. I drove to the Sports Castle in downtown Denver. I went in and bought the boots. I walked out with happy feet, and the old pair in the box.

I drove around downtown in the snow and stumbled upon a heartening sight. Sitting at the bus stop in a heavy snow was a young girl. She was wrapped in a blanket, wearing sneakers, and a suitcase.

Taking a deep breath ... I pulled over and gave her my boots. I said, "You need these more then me." I offered to drive her to a shelter and she refused. I will never forget her face an image embedded in time.

I drove home and told my parents what happened. We cried. From that day forward we have fed, and clothe many lost souls.

The recent recipients have been a group of Gulf War vets, and we spoke recently. I asked, they shared what sacrifices they make, and what they do with those VA benefits.  “My name is David, and I came home an emotional mental wreck, and cannot maintain a normal life." The ones I spoke with send the money directly to their kids, and they sleep on the street or in shelters.  They sleep on the streets because they're severe alcoholics, drug addicts, and cannot maintain the jobs.  Many joined the military already broken mentally, and from abused homes.  Many had no high school education, but a basic GED, and the economy changed. 

They get little benefits and the hospital system is broken. The hospital distance is to far, and the VA system does not care. VA related news 17,000 soldiers are coming home within the month, and how many of them are broken mentally.  My VA suggestions, create a medical unit on wheels, and visit these vets on the streets. I would say that suggestion would take an act of congress, but they are messed-up.  

Images:

   The Group of packages
   Food, good food
   Socks, homeless value socks and gloves
   Sweaters, new wool sweaters

My family is doing the best we can to make a difference by giving back ... How do you give back or have you received, please share your story?

Dedicated to: Mom, thank you for standing behind me when I was falling hard.

2 comments:

  1. You are so right about your post. Being in the Military myself, I have such compassion for even the past veitnam vets that never got the recognition in the first place and ended up in the streets and now we have 2 wars decades later with still no solution as to how to help them when they come home. Their mental state of minds have only gotten worse over the years, while we claim to be the Best America and have the best Military, we do little to make sure they are FULLY taken care of when they come home. No one should be on the streets in America. Especially if they served their country.

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  2. Dear IMGroup,

    I agree with you. I wonder if the military families are aware of the other programs linked to Rep Paul Ryan's (WI), Medicare package. The Vets are linked in, the US will have 17,000 troops coming home with VA benefits axed. Mental health is a sore subject in all of medicine.

    What is wrong with this picture?

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