Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I’ve been volunteering for the past four years at The Lord’s Place, an extraordinary organization that helps the homeless in Palm Beach County. I’m also on the development committee as well as another committee working for our second annual SleepOut on February 6 in which hundreds of people will attend the evening events and scores of people will be spending one night the way many of the homeless spend many nights.

In the development meetings, I’ve been arguing that the charity is not targeting the wealthy in Palm Beach forcefully enough, that in this harsh climate these people will be receptive in a new profound way. The Lord’s Place has been placing cans for change in businesses around West Palm in advance of the SleepOut. I said I would try to do it in Palm Beach as a way of testing my theory.

I was a little nervous when I set out as to the response I would get. The first place I went was Palm Beach Book Store where I talked to owner Candice Cohen. “Wait a minute,” she said and went into her back office. She came back with a check for a hundred dollars. “I wish it could be a thousand,” she said as she placed the can on the counter. At Green’s Drug Store, there was a problem. They wanted two cans for both cash registers not one. Testa’s Restaurant insisted on two cans too. Wherever I went the response was immediate and positive.

I can’t tell you how good this makes me feel. I’m going out again today with more cans but here is the list so far of those who have said yes and the one owner of two locally owned restaurants who has said no. She said if she said yes, she would have to say yes for all kinds of things and that she helps in her own way. I have no reason to doubt her.

Palm Beach Book Store
Classic Bookshop
Main Street News
Blue Provence
Salon Magrit
Nick and Johnnies

Hamburger Heaven and Island Palm (same owner)

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