Shelters and organizations for homeless people and people in need are the only lights at the end of the tunnel. But have you heard about free vending machines for the homeless?
This new trend has been here for a while, and with it, faith in humanity has been officially restored.
The truth is, considering how rotten this world has become and how difficult it is to make ends meet nowadays, shelters are a real lifesaver for sure. But just like anything else, there is one downfall to them. Oftentimes they cost a lot of money and they run on hours of operation.
That is what makes this new idea the most genius thing I’ve ever heard.
To my even greater surprise, the first machines have already been installed last year in Nottingham, UK. The mastermind behind this amazing project is named Huzaifah Khaled. His story begins as a graduate student. Throughout his college years, he came across a lot of homeless people in the train station. He desperately wanted to help them, but he had no idea what else he could offer them beside the occasional money and food.
After a while, he started becoming more and more curious about creating a system that could provide these people with the basics at any time of the day. He was devastated to learn that the only way for them to get food was to go to the shelters and the organizations which worked very limited hours. Feeling compelled to lend a helping hand and do something about this situation, he came up with a very effective solution of giving free vending machines to the poor and installing them on a few frequent places around town so they can get whatever they need 24/7.
To make this possible he founded the non-profit organization Action Hunger. The first machine they installed was at a shopping center and it contained food, water, snacks, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. With time, he installed even more machines around town and he even started adding more items to the list. The new machines dispensed water, fresh fruit, crisps, chocolates, sandwiches, socks, towels, toothbrushes, antibacterial lotions, and other things.
The interesting thing about them is the fact that they dispense items via a key card that can be acquired through the Friary, a partner organization, a day center that takes care of the homeless. Every individual who gets a key card needs to return once a week to reactivate.
But this isn’t the first project of this kind. This incredible idea inspired many people who did exactly the same. After learning more about the effects that this project had on homelessness in Nottingham, a city in Indiana called Muncie also installed a few vending machines to dispense clean blankets and clothes for the homeless people. The only thing they need to do is register at Bridges Community Service and take their needed tokens for using the machines.
“We know that they are out there. Some are in shelters, some are indifferent living situations. We really want to use something like this to reach out to people. It does demonstrate that our community cares,” said Karee Buffin, a member of the Bridges Community Services Fund.
What’s even more amazing and heartwarming about this story is the fact that every item in the machines is donated with love from members of the community. That definitely speaks a lot about the community that these people live in. It shows that the world isn’t that grim as we think it is.
Bridges Community Services are accepting donations for their vending machines. If you are someone who lives somewhere around Muncie, Indiana, don’t hesitate to contact Karee Buffin at 765-282-3948 ext 222 and donate things that could help the people in need.