Lenten Alms for the Poor

+ Make a hospitality bag for the homeless.

Take a paper lunch bag, and pack it with items useful to the homeless. Some possibilities include: small travel sized soaps, lotions, shampoos, toothpaste, a tooth brush, a dry wash cloth rolled up in a plastic ziplock bag, some hard candies, a "moist toilette", individual packages of aspirin, ibuprofen, or tylenol, packaged peanut butter or cheese crackers, vienna sausage, a candy bar, socks, individual sized kleenex. Please include a holy card, rosary, or other Catholic devotional item, and write a short note to the person receiving the bag, sign it only with your first name and city (i.e. Robert, Oklahoma City). While most of the people we see are male, there are women on the streets too and so we need some hospitality bags targeted for women, with women's necessaries inside. (If you make a bunch of these bags for us, identify which are for anybody, and which are specifically for women.) We give these away every week to homeless people on the streets of Oklahoma City. We also suggest that you carry a few with you in your car and give them to those standing on the side of the road with signs that say "will work for food."

+ Make a habit of donating to emergency food pantries.

People get hungry every week of the year, not just at Christmas and Thanksgiving. Every time you go shopping, by something for the poor. In our particular case, we deliver food to people in need who don't have transportation. The most useful items to donate for our food security activities are: beans, rice, pasta (1 lb), canned spaghetti sauce (28 ounce), peanut butter (18 ounce), canned vegetables, soups, ramen noodles, cornbread mix, flour, sugar, coffee, tea, tuna, powdered milk, quart and gallon size zip lock bags.

+ Other items we distribute to the poor:

Socks (new or used, if used, please wash and match them as pairs), winter coats, gloves, caps/hats, blankets, towels, wash cloths, electric frying pans, hot plates, toaster ovens, microwaves, toasters, coffee makers, electric heaters, ventless propane heaters, kerosene heaters. At this time, we are not accepting clothing items other than those mentioned here, but this can change, please feel free to call and inquire as to our needs.

+ Help us feed the homeless.

Each week we go out 2 or 3 times and feed homeless people in downtown Oklahoma City. We invite people to share in this ministry by preparing food that we can distribute, either by coordinating with us and delivering the food to us hot, or preparing something that can be refrigerated or frozen and then re heated without hurting the quality of the food. We prefer "one pot comfort food meals" such as casseroles which include meat, pasta or rice, cheese, vegetables, and a nice hearty sauce, together with bread and a fruit or granola bar for dessert. Think of us when you have leftovers from a big party o r a church meal. It's very important that you pay proper attention to food safety guidelines, keeping any food for us to distribute at above 160 degrees or below 40 degrees, as many homeless people have compromised immune systems and are particularly vulnerable to food borne diseases. Bring enough to feed 30 hungry people.

Oscar Romero Catholic Worker house

1524 NW 21st + Oklahoma City 73106 + 405.557.0436