The Second Annual Live Well Event was a huge success! On May 2nd, 150+ volunteers gathered together in downtown Atlanta to show love to homeless men and women that are living on the street. Altogether we were able to assist over 250 homeless people with various needs. Together we provided…

  • 100 Haircuts
  • 30 Nail Care Assistance
  • 60 Foot Care Inspections and Assistance
  • 61 HIV Tests
  • 60 Health Screenings
  • 300+ Meals
  • Unmeasurable Love and Encouragement

One volunteer who attended the event had an “unexpected gift.” Here are Jimitria Burks thoughts about the day…

… It’s 7 a.m. as I walk down Pryor Street, towards the Gateway Center (the site location of Project Live Love’s “Live Well” event), it seems as though, most of the city of Atlanta is sleeping; except for those few homeless people that are standing along the side walk, across the street and lined up at the Gateway Center doors. I spoke to those that I passed, and even invited a man to the event that asked me what was going on today.

I was filled with excitement as we unloaded the truck to set up for the event. I’ve heard so many great things about last year’s event that I was anxious for it to start. I couldn’t wait to be a part of giving and showing love to our homeless guests. Little did I know, the guests would be giving me an unexpected gift.

The station I was assisting with was the “Love it Forward” station. In this area, our guests can experience: a massage, they can get information from our partners that can assist them, and they can also have the opportunity to give their love to sick children in the hospital by decorating cards for them, or leaving an inspiring message on our “Give & Take” board or even take an inspiring note for themselves. The day was going so wonderfully, and I kept in mind what Drew, the director of Project Live Love, said at the rally; “today be with people, instead of doing for people.” So I did that, I sat down and got to know a couple of our guests which warmed my heart, but the most heartfelt, and unexpected gift I received from our guests was their gratitude towards myself and my fellow volunteers.

Now, you may be asking how was receiving their gratitude a gift? That wasn’t it. The gift was learning what gratitude, humiliation, and appreciation should look like.

When people show you how appreciative they are for the attention, the food, and the conversation, it makes you realize how fortunate you are. It’s also a self reflecting moment. One woman told me, “Thank you for loving me today.” Another man said, “Thank you all for your hospitality.” All of these “thank you’s,” and the smiles on our guests faces, made me wonder, do I show my appreciation to those around me in that same humbling manner? Living love is not only about doing for others, but it’s also about showing the people we interact with on a daily basis (family, co-workers, our mail person, teachers, students, and friends) how appreciative we are for the way they live love towards us. At the “Live Well” event we showed so many people love, but in return, they showed us their love by their gratitude.

Reflect on how you show your gratitude to those around you or for the things you have. Are you showing your appreciation to those around you, in a way that makes them feel loved? Are your actions showing gratitude for the things you have? If not, remember living love is more than doing things for people, it’s also our attitudes towards the things we have, as well as, our appreciation for the people who show us love daily.

“It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.”