The Waste Management Office in Maryland has been Arnold Harvey’s turf for almost three decades. He has an extensive route and on his rounds he became witness to what people living on the streets had to endure day by day, night after night. The plight of these people sleeping on the gutter, foraging for food from trash cans, living a life of disdain struck a chord on this man’s heart. It wasn’t easy to just drive by and look away. Arnold Harvey thought of a plan.
Winter in Maryland can get very cold and this concerned the Harveys a lot; Arnold Harvey had a good talk with his wife about the situation of these street people and her heart readily went out to them. And so on that cold winter night the Harveys thought of giving away a bunch of things that can be of good use to these people.
Everyday when Arnold Harvey goes to his route he looks out for people that need such things. Inside the bag are sandwiches, fruit juice, and blankets which he keeps in a special compartment in his garbage truck. And he calls these bags the ‘Love Bags’. And it is very appropriate, for these bags not only contain food and things but is prepared by the Harvey couple with tender loving care.
This became Arnold Harvey’s routine. It made the couple feel good to help. But they had no idea that something much bigger was in store for them. In one of his routes, when he lifted a large dumpster to empty it he saw a sleeping family of four. They look startled when the headlights struck them. Arnold Harvey was heartbroken. There must be something more he can do, something much bigger than giving out bags with comfort food and things.
The ‘Love Bags’ which were initially given out has evolved into an outreach program by the couple. This time they had a warehouse full of goods! In there people can walk in and choose what they need. And they added something more – they now offer job training and support for connecting to local social services. Now this is great help for it offers life-changing opportunities for these once undermined people. They get their life back on track and are inspired to do more. They call their organization God’s Gift. Indeed, it is! Selfless love and commitment to uplift the lives of others are gifts from heaven
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