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Alexa Walcott Headshot

They Have One Simple Request And I Can't Help. Or Can I?

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Having the ability to head to the store and get whatever I need is just one of the MANY things I take for granted. A few weeks ago I was volunteering at The Mustard Seed (in Calgary), an organization in Alberta that builds community, grows hope and supports change by providing food, shelter and opportunity for many of the homeless in our city.

My job that night was to work in the "hygiene room" handing out towels, clean socks, shampoo, soap and other toiletries. I watched as a bus load of guests walked towards my room after a long day. Many of them had been working and were just looking forward to a hearty meal and a hot shower. I handed out dozens of towels, what seemed like an endless supply of shampoo and all sort of socks. But I kept getting a request for one item that happened to be out of stock.

A razor.

I cannot tell you in words how heartbreaking it was to see the dozens of disappointed looks I received when I had to say "I'm sorry, we don't have any more razors." The Seed relies on items like this to be donated, and for 3 weeks were out of razors. Two thoughts crossed my mind. The first was "man, it's so unfair that these people are being denied such a basic thing" and the second was "how on earth, in a city of over a MILLION people, has nobody donated razors?"

Then it hit me. I was part of that million, and had I done anything about it? No. I hadn't.

So maybe I'm just one person, and maybe I can't get The Seed the full supply of razors that they need, but I can certainly help. And I can ask my friends to help. And my friends can ask their friends to help. And...well I think you see where this is going.

So why am I writing about this? Well sometimes I think our lives get so busy and we overlook the simple things. I know this province is full of some really amazing generous people, but we often forget how easy it can be to make a difference. So let's change the world by changing our province. One razor at a time.