Gratitude & Giving Back Isn't Just For the Holiday Season


In the greater DC region, there are an estimated 11,623 homeless persons, and in the USA, an estimated 636,017 homeless persons.  Although the Holiday season may be over, there is still a need to give back. 

We had another great opportunity to volunteer, a few weekends ago, at Shepherd's Table, a great organization located in Silver Spring, MD serving the homeless and needy community.  We have been blessed in so many ways, and we have committed on a monthly basis to support this great organization which serves the surrounding community. 

As I was working on clearing the tables at the end of the shift, I had started talking to a gentleman who came in to eat.  I was asking how his day was, and how we just started helping out here.  And how this place seems to be doing a great job within the Silver Spring community, as the turn outs have been quite large.  His reply struck a chord in me - paraphrasing: "....yes, this place is great, but only in America." 

I wasn't quite sure what to make of this initially, so I kindly smiled, concluded the conversation and continued to work.  As I was wrapping up my shift, I kept thinking about his words as I initially took them from a negative perspective.  Was this guy being ungrateful?  Was he assuming that people get taken care of in America (he was from over seas)?  And/or was he down playing all of the tremendous efforts that are going on around the globe in other parts of the world?

I finally came to the conclusion, that my initial thoughts weren't right, but more importantly, the essence was completely off.  And I realized, coming from immigrant parents, that people NOT ONLY come to America for a better life.  But also come to a country where the society has cultivated a culture/sector where it is capable of SUPPORTING those that aren't in a good position.  America isn't just great because you can get rich, own your home, take vacations and buy nice things.  It's also a place where if the times get tough, there are people/institutions to lend you a helping hand -- and everything in between.

Please consider doing something small in your own backyard to give back.  The ROI on your time and money for helping others is infinite.  We all love the idea of making the world a better place -- lets start small, now and be consistent about it.

We are also still looking for a donor for a kidney.  If you could please continue to share these blogs/posts/etc. we would greatly appreciate it.  And if you're interested in getting tested, please call 410-328-5408 and ask to speak to a living donor coordinator.

Thank you and God bless, 

Hassan Shaukat