Note: The idea behind “Leading By Example” project is to offer a donation whenever I can to a charity, not-for-profit organization, or person of my choice. This program is designed to provide an example to everyone about how to offer charity regularly. Whether this task is conducted on monthly or yearly basis really depends on where you are in your career or how much struggle you are up against. But, even then the donations should be routinely provided through this method─remember, even a warm smile is considered a donation because it improves the minds. Oh! I learned all this through Islam. Kindly follow these footsteps to lead the rest.

See the rest of the examples under the category Leading By Example.

Originally Published on May 15, 2015

I fed a homeless man tonight—homeless people are one of my weaknesses. I happened to stop at a Tim Hortons to pick up some snacks and coffee when I saw a homeless man standing near the entrance. It was easy for me to guess that he was homeless although I have brief exposure to the homeless. I instantly realized that he needed help because he was looking down and shifting on his feet; both of his hands were in his pockets; and, he was unclean.

I usually feed them by using my hard-earned savings or lunch money —I eat less on those days. But, today I wanted to walk away because I was too tired; I needed sleep because I had finished my job. As soon as I started walking towards my car, my heart started twisting due to emotional turmoil. It was a weird feeling as if someone was holding my heart in his/her hands and then pressing it really hard. I experienced lots of pain so I just turned around and asked him to come inside Tim Hortons. Then, I requested him to order some food for himself. I stood there all the while making sure that he gets the food in his hands. I don’t trust anyone when it comes to the homeless; I mean what if the server’s answer was, “Shoo, shoo. Go away! The lady who ordered this food is gone and so should you.” I was a little surprised when he felt dignified enough to sit inside the warm Tim Hortons to eat this meager dinner─he had painstakingly ordered a large sandwich, large coffee, and a muffin. After this, I started feeling peaceful; and, the pain that I had felt in my heart slowly disappeared. Experiencing life through the eyes of homeless or seeing them sleeping on streets is one of the toughest things I have done in my entire life.

I have seen, met, helped, and talked with several homeless who are scattered all over my region. Besides my cash, I have donated food items and clothing to charities that are dedicated to the homeless. I have also given these destitute individuals cards that provide a Hotline for the homeless. It wasn’t easy distributing these on my own and without a team─working without a team is easier given that one has a busy schedule.

I feel that there is less help out there for them. I mean if I give them $20 for food, then that will cover only food for one day. Then there are expenses for clothing, hygiene, shelter, and job training. Who is going to cover for that? (Sighs!) Every time I walk away after helping them, I am left with huge regret because I know that I haven’t done enough for them.

I am leaving a note here in hope that people will be inspired by the example I have set; and, thus they would also start helping their local homeless.

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

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