Whether it's a simple blanket, a bottle of water or a small snack, Veterans Day at the St. Vincent de Paul Church Park in the heart of Baltimore brought a little warmth to a cold day.
“When you don't have something that you need, you have it,” said Gregory Mason after receiving the unexpected gift, “So it's uplifting. It makes you feel better.”
Kurt Clodfelter worked as a chef until three years ago when his multiple sclerosis and a bipolar disorder combined to make his life a living hell.
“I was in a very bad depressive phase, and I said to myself, 'I need to do more for myself. I need to heal myself', and in doing that, I looked around and said, 'I've got it bad right now, but a lot of people have it a lot worse than I do,'” said Clodfelter.
From his home in Glen Burnie, Kurt began handing out food and blankets to the homeless with little regard for his own modest means, and over time, he and his wife, Kristi, began distributing their own holiday meals as well.
“It wasn't very difficult to just say, 'Okay, make sure I have my little piece of turkey at the end of the night somehow, someway, and I am perfectly happy. Let's do it,' and we committed to that and that went well and we said, 'Well, let's add Christmas. Let's do it,'” added Kristi.
In that same spirit, the couple has expanded their giving to Veterans Day as well, noting that one out of 10 vets in this country is homeless as well.
“The holiday reminds me that there's a need,” said Kurt, “It's cold outside, and it was bitterly cold the past couple of nights and I've got the blankets and I don't need them.”
Twenty-one cases of blankets, more than 200 in all, and every one of them brings warmth not only to the body but also to the heart.
“They're not asking for nothing. Nothing at all,” said Mason, “They're giving from the kindness of their heart, and I appreciate it very much... very much. It's like an inspiration to me. It's uplifting.”
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