Friday Night in Albany

~Be present. Be kind. Compliment people. Magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses. This is how to make a difference~

Every Friday night we are there with listening ears, open arms, kind words, helping hands and compassionate hearts. We are present.

We embraced our friend Miss B, who was in tears with a broken heart telling us the man that killed her son 4 years ago in a drunk driving accident is getting released from prison very soon. We told her how sorry we are, hugged her and told her she has the most beautiful angel with her at all times and that she’s strong and we’re here for her anytime💕🙏.

We embraced our friend Ghalia who was telling us about another surgery she has to have to remove a tumor that is pushing on a nerve and encouraged her to have faith and stay postive✨.

We had a friend Wanda come dragging a bike that wasn’t working, and a volunteer had tools to let another friend fix the bike and both friends had big smiles. One with a sigh of relief and appreciation and one with a sense of pride to have accomplished a task to help her🚴.

Our friend Ghadi joined us with his pet python and although we didn’t allow him to go through the line with him, the volunteers who wanted to took turns holding him while Ghadi went through the line to get what he needed🐍.

A few weeks ago we heard from our friend Matt who’s feet hurt from his old worn out sneakers. And another friend Ron who requested high top sneakers because of bad painful ankles. Both these friends recieved brand new sneakers and the reactions and appreciation were priceless. “Oh my god. Are you serious right now?” “Wow, Thank you. I want expecting this.” 👟

When StreetSoldiers was in front of the Armory on Washington Ave nearly 5 years ago, we had a friend named Gunner who came to see us every week. Gunner was a sweet sweet man, who passed away 3 years ago. He loved books, and he LOVED Mary’s Rice and Beans. She would make it special just for him. Gunner looked A LOT like Mary’s dad did and the two of them had a very special bond. Gunner touched our lives with his presence and we were so very lucky to have met him. Last night a woman comes walking up, who stood beside me patiently waiting while I finished up the conversation with our friend Bill to introduce herself as Gunners sister. ❤😭 She said that she wanted to come to personally thank us for all we did for Gunner and was coming to volunteer. Oh, my heart!!! I was eager to get home to send Mary a message and a photo and her response was “This made my whole day!!”

This is StreetSoldiers