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I arrived with my offerings and watched as a group of homeless people that stay close in the area were filling up containers to take with them. When there was a lull in the action I asked Patti why she did this. She said it was because she gets an idea and then puts it out there to see where God takes it. I asked her where her heart for giving comes from and she said it stems from her family. Growing up in the 1940s in Fresno her family helped start a community center near Roeding Park and helping others with whatever she has is what she does. She feeds the community of homeless in this area often enough that they call her Grandma or Mom and look forward to her visits and meals.
After about an hour of serving and a car pulled up. The two people in the car sat there for long enough that we were beginning to wonder what was happening. About that time, a husband and wife stepped out of the car and walked over and asked Patti about what was going on there. Patti told her story and the woman handed her a check for $100. She said they were from Oakhurst and prayed that God would show them who to bless with money today. They drove by and saw us all set up. The blessing goes beyond as I heard a story that Patti had helped out a friend by trading some work to be done around her home for $100 because the friend needed the money. That money had been replaced.
Patti set up for three hours and as the sun was setting the wind picked up and it was getting very cold. She said the cold hurts her bones so it was time to go home. I agreed. She walked over to where the homeless had cardboard set up in a “house” configuration and invited them to come back over to take more food, since there was plenty of extra. My hands and feet were very cold and moving around packing up didn’t help to warm them. I was torn with my feelings as I looked so forward to heading home where I could get warmed up and I felt guilty for those who couldn’t get out of the frigid weather as the temperatures rapidly dropped in the setting sun.
Tomorrow you will get to meet some of the homeless people that I met.