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The Edge of Privlege

I am lucky enough to live in one of Baltimore's most beautiful and historic districts. Bolton Hill is lined with oak trees, quiet town houses from the early 1900s, and was home to and F. Scott Fitzgerald while he wrote Tender is the Night. Right over the superficial district border however, are mostly poor, often overlooked neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are what Baltimore is known for, and are indeed what is most prominent in the city.

I walk and drive through these neighborhoods all the time, and almost every time I will be approached by someone who asking for money. I've never really felt comfortable fumbling through my wallet in front of a stranger, so for a long time I would always apologize and tell the person I couldn't help them, or if they were holding a cardboard sign at a stop light, ignore them and hope the light would turn green.

It's hard to do for such a long time, especially when there are people who very clearly could use anything you had to offer.

So I decided to make care packages. I looked up other care packages suggestions, and decided what I thought might be most useful for the people I most often see. This is what I decided upon:

Packs of Gum
Granola Bars
Travel Tooth Brushes

I bought it all at BJ's for about ~$100 and was able to make 15 care packages. I packaged them in gallon zip-lock bags and carried them with me in my car or backpack when I was traveling.

I started distributing them mid-February and just handed my last one out last week. At first I was unsure if the stuff I put in my care package would be appreciated by the people I was giving them to, but I was overwhelmed by the responses and thanks I got.

I'm going to make a summer care package as well. Hopefully I am at least help someone with these things.