September 19, 2011

How Do You Cultivate Compassion in Your Community?

This month, Tricycle is partnering with the Compassionate Action Network to support Karen Armstrong's Charter for Compassion and Compassionate Cities Project. Join us today at any member level and you'll have the opportunity to sign the Charter, make a $5 donation to the Compassionate Action Network, and to download a free chapter of Karen Armstrong's new book, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.

We're discussing the Compassionate Cities Project at the Tricycle Community, asking the question: How can compassion help meet the needs in your community? One community member shares how her family is making their neighborhood more compassionate:

There are two new homeless shelters here in Birmingham. They are for homeless veterans. The name is Three Hots and a Cot. It was opened when a friend of ours realized that there were men and women coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan who ended up homeless for whatever reason. They fought for us and he wanted to do something for them. It's been open a little over a year now and the beds are full. It doesn't yet get federal funding but every week just enough comes in to make the bills. My husband and sons have been working with them. We have a small business that picks up scrap metal and old appliances from apartment complexes for recycling, and we sometimes clean out apartments after someone leaves. We get good beds and clothes sometimes and all of it goes to 3 Hots and a Cot.

The men there sometimes feel as if they have been forgotten. That's why every week I go and take them homemade bread or a cake or something. Just to let them know they AREN'T forgotten. Everyone can find 5 minutes out of their day to offer a smile to a homeless person. Just 5 minutes smiling and asking how they are. It can make all the difference in the world to a man who is considered a throw away by society. A smile, a hello, a how are you, can be a small step towards restoring their dignity.

Let us know how you're making a difference in your community.


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