Giving is easy

Jaime Carrillo

A sandwich always tastes better when someone else makes it for you.

It’s a universally known thing that throws modern cooking conventions out the window. A sandwich is that much sweeter when it’s made for someone who’s a little down on their luck.

This Thanksgiving, before I boiled stock, peeled potatoes, and roasted turkey, I chopped lettuce and spread mayonnaise to help make bag lunches for the homeless.

I’d like to say it was my idea to give back to those who have little, but making bag lunches for the homeless was my sister’s brainchild.

Many charities and churches do their best to provide warm meals on Thanksgiving for the needy, but my sister Susie Carrillo felt that they could use a small meal to hold them over until turkey time.

“The plight of the homeless and the elderly are my weakness,” said Carrillo. “I decided to give up Black Friday this year and spend the money on something that mattered.”

Friends and family followed suit and helped make sandwiches as well as fill paper bags with goodies like granola bars, potato chips, fruit cups and cans of soda.

As a group of seven, we finished the task in less than an hour and were able to distribute the sack lunches before noon.

The distribution process was quicker than we thought it would be. Unfortunately, Sacramento has no shortage of homeless people.

The plan went off so positively that we’re turning it into a monthly event.

“It’s so easy to do, and not as expensive as you’d think,” said Carrillo. “It only cost me $160 to feed fifty people. And next month I’ll be able to plan it out more making it even more do-able.”

This shouldn’t come off as a shame fest. Too often do I have the spirit of giving in my heart around the holidays, but sadly it doesn’t always turn into action.

All in all the total time invested was less than three hours. College has many of us strapped for cash and time, but it doesn’t mean we can’t use our talents and treasure to help those in even tighter situations.

My biggest surprise when it came to donating my time and energy into the endeavor was that it was easy. Seriously, giving to those in need is a breeze, and you’ll get a massive return investment.

The smile on someone’s face who is usually given the cold shoulder is a great reward and reminder of what the holiday is all about.