As we like to feature people choosing kindness, meet Ashleyann who makes blankets for people who are currently living on the street.
Check out Ashleyann’s website, www.handmadetothestreets.com, to learn more and help her continue serving those in need.
Keep up the great work Ashleyann!
This is Mike. I met him this past Saturday when we went to the waterfront in Portland, OR to deliver a few blankets. I was walking when I saw a man going through a dumpster underneath a bridge; I went up to him and asked him if he slept on the streets. I asked him what his name was and shook his hand. I told Mike that I made this blanket by hand and wanted to give it to him if he’d accept. He looked at me and said, “Are you an Angel? You made this!? I can’t-“He started to tear up and I placed my hand on his back and told him it was okay.
Mike told me that he would keep his new blanket forever and he said that it was a perfect size because it’s big enough to put over his head but light enough to carry around. He was amazed at how warm, colorful and compact it was and I could tell he was very grateful as he rubbed away tears from his eyes. I feel very lucky to have spent some time to talk with Mike and to learn more about him. People forget that they’re human beings with emotions and feelings. It’s not okay to judge one before you let them tell their story. You may be surprised. Mike told his story to me and now I will share it with you. Mike and I spoke for about 10 minutes and I learned more about him and his journey. He has been homeless and living on the streets for over 1 year. He is 60 ½ and it’s hard for him to find work because of his age and his health is very poor. Before being homeless, Mike was a part of a big successful company but after some time, it dissolved and many lost their jobs. They only paid him a very small severance which was not enough to live on. He doesn’t get his social security until after 62 and has no other income that comes in. He let me know that shortly after losing his job that he was stolen of everything he had left including his truck but with no money to pay to get it out. Mike is strong. It takes a strong person to open up, admit defeat and to do the best you can with what you have. He has a small cart with some belongings, and like I found him, he searches through dumpsters to find other items he may need. I gave him one of my street kits that I was carrying; it included a very warm pair of socks, water, snacks, toiletries and hygiene products. I was an Angel to him again. He couldn’t stop shaking and didn’t believe that this was happening to him. He let me know that when he gets off the streets, that he would send it back to me but I told him to give it to someone else in need and to keep the kindness going. He often goes to the library and told me he has an email, I let him know I will be in touch and will sen him this photo of us. I truly don’t think he needed the blanket, but more of a chance for someone to talk and listen to him. We could’ve talked for an hour. He agreed to take a photo and asked if he looked okay. I felt he had a sense of humor under all that pain. I’m not only making blankets, but I am trying to help the world. I helped Mike, his tears and willingness to open up to me didn’t tell me that but by the way he was so appreciative and uplifted when I left. I know I made a difference his life, greater than being warm at night.