End of Compassion Week at Church on the Living Edge
The Church on the Living Edge was completing their compassion week with a big celebration Downtown Orlando. My 15 year old son, Taylor Frank, Robert O’Hare (15 years old) and myself, Kimberlee Frank, headed Downtown to Orlando to celebrate. When we got there, the city was full of people heading to restaurants, going home, going to work and many homeless. We found a parking spot and headed to the ample theater to listen to the great music. At the end of the night, the saints (members) of the Church of the Living Edge was to give out bags of groceries to the needy. We finally got a seat and were singing with the music when the three of us decided that we were going to hit the streets and start telling everyone we saw that at 9:00 p.m. they could get FREE FOOD. People couldn’t believe that the Church on the Living Edge was giving away free food.
We had spoken with many people by the water and then headed down the street when we heard a voice scream “Taylor”. We all looked and it was Taylor’s friend, a young boy still in high school that lived in our neighborhood. He had just turned 18 years old. We were happy to see him and asked him what he was doing Downtown Orlando. He responded to us that he was homeless for the pass 3 days living on the streets. We couldn’t believe it, we were all in shock! This boy is a straight A student and has two divorced parents to live with. He explained that he was on the streets for mistakes that he had made with his mother. We gave him $45 and our telephone numbers to call if we could help. I didn’t know what to do as a parent, I wanted to take him home but it was just 7 p.m. and we were going to be here until 9 p.m. He showed us where he was sleeping on the corner of Rosaline and Pine on the churches stairs. There were approximately 30 people sleeping on the entrance. We told them all about the Free Food and asked them to come down at 9 p.m.
We walked back to the theater to wait to hand out the bags. We were so happy that we told about 75 people and were looking forward to giving them groceries. At 9 p.m. hardly any of them showed up except Taylor’s friend who informed us that if they would not leave their spot because their belongings would get stolen and they would lose their spot to sleep the night. The three of us decided to take the food to them. That evening Church on the Living Edge gave out 300 to 500 bags of food to the needy.
My boys seeing their friend on the street really made them realize how lucky they have it. They also had many questions about the people on the streets. Our economy has affected many people. We all need to reach out and help other people in their time of need. We felt great we were able to be part of compassion week. However, we felt terrible about Taylor’s friend. When we were ready to leave, I decided I was going to take him home with us but couldn’t find him.
All the way home we talked about what type of foods someone who was homeless could use without having to refrigerator it or heat it up: Here is a list we came up with: peanut butter, jelly, crackers, fruit roll ups, pop-tarts, cereal, potatoes chips, anything in cans that had pop lids, dried food and more. When we got home, the boys where so upset about their friend we went to the father’s house to tell him about his son. At first he was yelling and then changed his tone of voice. He said his son had to hit rock bottom before he could help. (there are always two sides to the story). We left knowing we did our best for Taylor’s friend and now it was up to his parents to take responsibility and help their son.
Thank you God for allowing us to be a part of this compassion week and showing us so much. May your hand of favor reach out to all the people in need during this rough economy. Thanks, Church on the Living Edge and Bishop Mark Chirrona for reaching out to the community. This was a night that my boys or I will never forget.
Always thank god for what you have,
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