Mac Rawley, in whose honor Macpack was created, had an unusual affinity for the homeless. In the early 1980’s the family lived in New Mexico, and a weekend camping trip in the Lincoln National Forest on Sierra Blanca exemplifies his grass-roots philanthropy. As we prepared to drive up the mountain, we stopped at a small market to pick up ice and a few other items. Outside, Mac spotted a man holding a sign which read “Hungry please help.” His face was worn, sunburned, and worry lines furrowed his brow.
Mac struck up a conversation with the gentleman, and found out that he was indeed homeless, and had no idea where to find shelter. Mac immediately invited him to come along with us for the weekend, and up the mountain we went. After a day of fishing, we had no fish, but plenty of other food to share. Mac and our guest sat quietly talking by the campfire far into the night.
The next day, we dropped the gentleman off at the market where we first met him, and Mac pressed a twenty-dollar bill into his hand as we were leaving. This time, the man’s sad, hard expression was replaced by a smile. As we drove home, we were smiling, too.
- Claudia Snowden
Back in the late eighties my mom and sister and I were driving to the grocery store. As we pulled in to the parking lot we saw a man leaning up against the wall in a crevice. He was thin with a long beard and very gentle eyes. He was probably in his 40’s, but looked a lot older. He was asking for money.
I asked my mom if we could give him some money, but she told me that we barely had enough to buy our own groceries. As we shopped, I felt a constant ache in my chest and stomach. All I could think about the whole time was this man, how much I wanted to help him. His need overwhelmed my young self, and I could not--would not let it go.
I asked my mom again if we could give him something. This time when I asked her she looked right at me and I could see she was about to say no, that we only had enough for us, but she caught my desperation for him--she could see in MY eyes the need to help him.
We were in the produce aisle at the time, and she took me over to a nearby stack of oranges, picked up a huge bag and said we could give these to him. I was so excited. I wanted to talk to him, to hand them to him, to feel that I had helped him in some way.
When we left the grocery store he was still there asking for help. I got out of the car on my own and gave him the bag of oranges. It was a sweet exchange. He smiled and said thank you, brought his hands up to his chest, and said “god bless.” I didn’t grow up in a religious home but I knew his words were of a thankful nature. As I got back in the car and we drove off, I cried all the way home. He and I had shared a life-changing moment in time. I recognized his need and he graciously received my need to help him. I was only 8. I will never forget that day.- Bonnye Davis
“There’s been a number of times that I’ve had the privilege of serving the less fortunate but one instance in particular sticks with me the most.
I came across a family that was sitting outside of an older vehicle in the middle of the summer stranded on the corner of a busy parking a lot. A mother, father and a young boy. No sign just a very large gas can. I noticed a few people give a few dollars or some change but I couldn’t help but think how long had they had been sitting outside in the heat and what it would take to help get them where they needed to go. So I approached and asked if I could have their gas can. Not realizing that they didn’t speak much English they were hesitant at first but allowed me take it anyway not knowing exactly what I was doing.
I drove across the parking lot to a nearby gas station and filled it up completely and brought it back to help them fill up their gas tank. Watching them pack up and leave with smiles on their faces made it all worth it! Even though there was a language barrier during that moment, the kindness, love, and happiness we all shared in that parking lot was universal!”