Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Lunch with a Purpose - Sack Lunch Sunday

Have you ever wanted to be a part of something bigger than yourself?

Have an opportunity to help others?

Change a stranger's life?

Change your life?

Well, I found this amazing place where it all can happen! 

and it's called Sack Lunch Sunday!

What is Sack Lunch Sunday?

Many of the volunteers will tell you it's not an experience that can be put into words, but I am going to try.  If you don't think I sum it up perfectly, come check us out and put it into your own words.

Sack Lunch Sunday is one man's dream.
An experience like no other.
An opportunity to bring people together.

A way of looking forward to something amazingly different each week.

Sack Lunch Sunday is a hug.
It's not just a lunch.
It's making new friends.
It's opening your heart and your mind.

Sack Lunch Sunday is a Smile on the Streets.
It's an amazing story that started with an amazing person.

Sack Lunch Sunday is my family!

So, does Sack Lunch Sunday sound like something amazing to you?

Every Sunday a group of volunteers meet at the SLS Headquarters, a.k.a. Nick's house.  We meet to make over 100 sandwiches, to be packed along with water, chips, sweet snacks, sometimes fruit, and always a note!  

Friends of all ages are welcome to participate.  Younger kids are delegated to write notes and make pictures to go into the lunches.  Then we have the sandwich station (kitchen table), which sandwiches are assembled and bagged.  Next, they make their way to the garage where the remainder of the assembly and packing occurs.

Once the sack lunches are made, what's next?

That is where many hands make light work.  

All of our volunteers come with back packs, even the kids, and we fill up as many lunches as we can.  Next, 2-3 extra-large duffle bags are filled with the remaining lunches, and warm extras, such as hand warmers, hats, gloves, and scarves.  Toiletries are another much needed necessity on the streets that get added to one of the bags.

We discuss safety of encountering homeless on the streets, a little of what to expect, and how we all need to go with an open mind and heart, and be ready to change some lives.

We discuss who will be in each group, then we get ready to hop on the train, my son's favorite part...All the way to Chicago's Union Station!

Nick and Colin on the train looking for airplanes!
Once at Union Station, we head out on our mission, to warm a few homeless hearts.  
It can be the lunch, the warm outerwear, the handshake or hugs that we provide to make someone's day just a little bit brighter.  

 Every week, I encounter a new reason why I love volunteering for SLS.  Whether it's bonding with my family, making new friends, or changing the lives of others, my reason is forever changing.  Making the homeless feel just a little less alone, is one great reason why I do this, I know I have many smiles to share.

Sack Lunch Sunday, doesn't stop at the streets, but also volunteers at some shelters as well.

Due to our ability to get over 100 sack lunches out each Sunday, our wishlist is ever growing.
If you are interested in participating by donating needed items, please check out the link below for where to send your donation to.  
There is always a weekly wishlist and update posted as well.  

Some items that we need on a weekly basis include, but are not limited to:
small bottles of water, bread, mustard, sandwich bags, brown paper lunch sacks, variety of chips, snacks such as granola bars, fruit snacks, individually packaged cookies, crackers, etc.

But we don't stop at lunches.  We have already provided many of these homeless men and women with warm winter gear, such as hats, gloves and scarves, and many many sets of hand warmers.  Hygiene products are also needed.  
So please consider donating those items as well!

Thank you for taking the time to learn a little about Sack Lunch Sunday!  
If you would like to make a new friend, warm a heart, or share a lunch and a smile, contact SLS below, or you may contact me directly at jmccarte@sbcglobal.net.

Click the link below to learn more about SLS, how to donate, volunteer, etc.
Sack Lunch Sunday - Facebook Page

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