Earlier this month on April 2, Chic-a participated in WillBridge’s 8th Annual Inter-faith Homeless Foot Washing. This event takes place every year on the Thursday before Easter. Chic-a has been involved with this event for the last 4 years. Lynnelle Williams, the Director of WillBridge states, “The Significance of the Foot Washing is to demonstrate Hospitality; Humility; Servanthood; Compassion; and Unconditional Love.” toward the homeless in Santa Barbara. It is a special event which brings different people from the community together to serve the homeless.
The Homeless guests, around 250, arrive in the morning and receive a continental breakfast, sneakers/hiking or work boots, 2 pairs of socks, personal hygiene kit, and a sack lunch. They have the option to have their feet washed by a volunteer. There are social services available to them as well. Chic-a has donated pouches for the hygiene kits. This year we were able to donate Yarn Keepers that had slight irregularities that made them unsellable. They worked great for the kits and were able to hold all the items.
My daughter and I worked at a station for doing manicures. Hands are as important as the feet! I think more men came through this station than women this year. They opted out of the polish but enjoyed the hand message, scrubbing and a chance to trim their nails. The conversations are so interesting and we quickly realized that these people are longing for respect and attention. Plus, we get to hear some very interesting stories. Most of the people who come through one would never suspect of being homeless; this was a real eye opener to me the first year I did this. My daughter had her reservations about helping but she did. Nervous at first, I think she started to enjoy the conversations and see that she could brighten a person’s day.
The most amazing thing is how thankful and appreciative all those who came through were. There were a lot of smiles and laughter! In reality it really is the least I could do to help. What a blessing to be able to touch a life and to give some joy and respect. I am so thankful to be a part of an organization like WillBridge that brings hope and solutions to the homeless in Santa Barbara.