One of the major requirements of UM is that every athlete, coach, team, or professional who works with UM has to give back in some way. Whether they volunteer locally, raise awareness or funds for a charity, or perform simple acts everyday to care for others, they are required to do something.
The reason behind this requirement is that the world is bigger than you, me, or anyone else and we are all connected through our humanity. Giving back through volunteering or good acts tends to leave a lasting impression on the individual as well as those around them. In short, it pays dividends.
A very simple way to better those around you is to keep a simple supply bag in your car that can be given out to people in need. These bags have a bunch of different names but the concept is the same, you have a bag of simple supplies (e.g., toiletries, food, spare blanket, water, etc.) that can be given out in a moments notice to someone in need. It’s a small bag that doesn’t take a lot of space so it can be kept on hand.
I try to keep two bags in my car and during the cold months I’ll keep a couple blankets and donated jackets/hoodies. It doesn’t cost much and it can make a world of difference for those receiving the bags. If you have the time, and you want to truly embrace humanity, start a conversation up while handing the bag over. Ask their name, where they are from, and just have a discussion free of judgement. Be caring, welcoming, and compassionate. After all, they are a human as well.
The usual question I get when discussing these bags is about what I put in them. Usually, after giving a bag out i will restock another during my next trip to the grocery store. I’ve given some to friends to keep in their cars as well and you be ready to change a life.
- Tooth brush
- Tooth paste
- Dental floss
- Soap bars
- Baby wipes and disinfectant wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Medicated foot powder
- Granola bars
- Water bottles
- Nice to haves
- Bug spray
- Sun screen
- Gift card to a sit down restaurant
- Water proof first aid kit
- Cold months
- Jacket or hoodie
I include the gift cards so they can sit down and eat somewhere to feel human and to get out of the elements. I have some bags made of travel sized items to make it easier to carry and other bags are full sized items. Regardless of what you offer, treat them with dignity and respect.
Keep doing the good work and changing the world for the better.
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