Diet, health and fitness tips for average women. Site created and maintained by Ann Chihak Poff.

A must read: A Gift of Hope

I quickly read through A Gift of Hope. And am reading a second book on adrenal fatigue.

I recently read on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website, sfgate.com, about a book by Danielle Steel.

Now when I was younger I read many of her romance novels. And then I kinda outgrew that phase.

But the article that the Chronicle recently did on her latest book caught my eye and my heart. And I had to buy the book.

It’s a small book and an easy read. And it has changed my life. I am looking at the homeless differently. I have always had compassion for them. But I have been panhandled and played more times than I would like to admit. I no longer give money. I will, at times, buy food for someone.

And I just recently purchased Starbucks gift cards, which I will hand out when someone asks for money. The recipient can get something warm to drink and something to eat.

Danielle Steel lost one of her sons to suicide. He was bipolar and had a compassion toward homeless people. When she was feeling sad and low she asked God to tell her what she should do to ease her pain and help someone less fortunate than her. The message she heard back was to help the homeless.

She went out at night with a team sworn to secrecy for 10-11 years without telling anyone else and handed out jackets, sleeping bags, socks, hats and gloves in San Francisco. (Eventually the bags were also filled with food, tarps, track suits, etc.)

From a page in her book: I had always had a powerful belief that good deeds should be done anonymously and in silence. They lose meaning when you toot your own horn, except acknowledgement or praise, or talk about them. It has taken me more than a dozen years to break the silence, which I’ve done so only because I felt that the homeless could be best served by waking people up and sharing what I’ve seen. 

That last statement I totally agree with. I feel that as human beings it is our duty to help others. We all have causes close to our heart. Some of us have more money than time or vice versa.

I feel like talking about helping others and using your heart can influence others to do the same. I think it is important. And it is something I will continue to talk about on this blog. Helping others is so important. What I get out of it means so much more than I could ever imagine. (For instance my friend James shared on Facebook about being a Layaway Angel. And I in turn did the same thing and shared my story and at least one of my readers turned and did the same thing AND one of her friends commented on Facebook that they planned to do the same thing … pay it forward in a beautiful form.)

Danielle Steel and her team had many amazing experiences. You must get the book to read about all of them. This one I am going to share warms my heart but also brought tears to my eyes.

Along with a warm jacket, we had somehow given him back humanity and pride. 

Spending the holidays in warm places like Tucson and San Diego I have seen so many homeless people.

On the way to anywhere we went from our hotel in Tucson we would drive by a park where many homeless people lived. I so badly wanted to buy food and hand it out. But I wasn’t sure how many people were there and didn’t want to jeopardize not having enough food and putting myself in harm’s way.

On a coffee walk the other day in San Diego with Curt we saw two different guys sitting on the sidewalk in wheelchairs. They both looked homeless. That just doesn’t seem right or OK.

As I stated earlier, I have Starbucks gift cards in my purse. I haven’t handed any out yet. I also have some beanies I made for the troops. (When I first started knitting for the troops I didn’t realize there were color and material requirements.) But I have some warm hats and gift cards to give out when necessary.

The homeless problem is bigger than my hats and gift cards or really, even what the author and her team did for years. But sometimes just showing someone you care can mean more than you realize.

I believe as a nation this is something that should be addressed. We just can’t throw people away.

And how far are many of us from being homeless? How many of us are living in debt? Credit card bills out of control? Living paycheck to paycheck. Missing one or two paychecks would cost you your home?

I highly recommend this read. It’s a quick and easy read and the stories in there are amazing. They will make you smile, warm your heart and also bring tears to your eyes. But I also believe it will make you look at the homeless differently.


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