By: Annie Gordon
I have always found interactions with the homeless uncomfortable because I feel as though I fail accurately communicate my genuine concern for their wellbeing. When I catch his or her eye in passing and muster up a shy smile and respond to a plea for a donation with a polite shake of the head and quick shift of my gaze to the ground. I must come off as cold, indifferent, and inexcusably selfish. My visible confidence and purpose walking down the street paired with my name-brand clothing clearly reflect my more-than-comfortable socio-economic status. It is undeniable that I can and should spare a few dollars. However, the interactions are always unexpected, and I continually find myself in a position in which I have nothing prepared or appropriate to give.
A few nights ago we were asked to write about our most distinct service memory. However, I am still anxiously waiting in anticipation for mine. Tomorrow, my last day in D.C., I will set out with bananas and fresh pairs of socks to give to the homeless. I look forward to being able to give and hopefully leave a lasting impression that their lives are valid and deserve the same amount of attention and thought as anyone else’s.