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  • Wendell Francis

Levite Alms' stories

On January 7, 2012, my sister (partner of Levite Alms), myself and a friend of hers from high school went into manhattan to hand out food/drink to people in need. We made a stop at 34th Street/Penn Station where we usually find people hanging outside, in summer. But on this nice Saturday, we found only but a few people. We tend to go outside because in Penn Station where there are more needful people there is sort of, a ban on helping them. Anyway, after helping the few outside we decided to take the chance inside Penn Station. In Penn, we are able to distribute the majority of our roughly forty sandwiches and drinks. All of this, including, chips and chocolates come up to about $120 dollars. While having a successful time, on the LIRR side of Penn Station, two officers approached us. One of them asked us, as we were helping someone if we were “selling” the items. Of course, we replied, no we’re not. The gentleman also responded by saying he didn’t have any money to begin with. Let me add that the officers knew the man. They knew he was homeless and one of them still asked if we were” selling” what we were “giving”. It gets better. After inspector gadget figured out that we were giving, he decided to come up with a plot to make himself look stupider. He stated that we weren’t allowed to hand out food/drink without a “vendors license”. Lesson number one; you don’t need a vendors license to give food/drink for free. Lesson number two; learn the laws before you let a fool manipulate you. Even if he was to say that Penn station is private property it wouldn’t fly because it isn’t stipulated in their agreements or rules. After that episode, we were able to continue in peace. My sister and I were happy that her friend joined us. Her friend, like most people, don't get the opportunity to be on the giving end of humanity. Most of us are conditioned to receive. What we did doesn’t take great effort. Anyone can do it if he or she desires to be selfless.

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