Feed Your Soul
"Don't you feed these people?" asked Master Choa Kok Soi, a spiritual teacher, while visiting Los Angeles. In that moment, Morgan Harwith, now co-founder and treasurer of Feed Your Soul, took in the inspiration that this wise man sent towards him to initiate Feed Your Soul along with a group of other individuals. Now Feed Your Soul has become a charity that since 2001 and has distributed hamburgers for homeless people in the city of Santa Monica. Harwith along with his friends started buying 100 of these hamburgers weekly. Then taking a walk down the 3rd Street Promenade, these small group of people in other words Feed Your Soul, started handing out food to the poor and hungry. With time, the group's popularity grew so much among the homeless that soon enough they started forming an orderly large line each waiting to receive their hamburger. As various insignificant concerns grew with the local merchants on 3rd Street Promenade, Feed Your Soul moved in the park of Ocean and Broadway. After two years, when the City of Santa Monica passed an ordinance preventing the feeding at the park their luck changed, but this time for the better. "We were very disappointed at the time but what it turned out to be it wasn't because Ocean Park Community Center is much better equipped to handle this people and highly organized in passing out the food," said Harwith. OPCC is the social service agency where Feed Your Soul along with other groups now do their weekly feeding, making it possible for these people to survive. Harwith has been there for seven years handing out over 3500 hamburgers since 2001 on every Monday's afternoon.
"Just because you're homeless, that does not make you a bad person," said Harwith. Part of his inspiration for charity work with the homeless came when one of his friends became homeless. He's learned to respect these people and their unfortunate events which shadow their lives. Harwith believes that most people become homeless having no fault directly of their own. Many people are laid off from jobs, others are affected by illnesses and the negligence of missing healthcare. "There are many numbers and reasons. But we recognize that the government can't solve all this problems and it is up to us as individuals to help participate," said Harwith.
Many people that travel to United States are amazed with the homeless people's respect on the streets and their conduct of responsibility. "In my seven years and now roughly 3,500 hamburgers, we've never had a major fight with any of these people there," Harwith acknowledges proudly. He also says that a good amount of the homeless would like to get jobs and even though many refuse to move into buildings again, the reintegration in society for these people is possible. Harwith advises students, families and anyone really to start giving out food. "You don't have to have a masters degree in social work to go out and help somebody. Get some friends and do it!"
Harwith's thinks of Feed Your Soul special, mostly because it doesn't have religious overtones to their charity work. "On a spiritual side we know that by giving we receive" said Harwith thankfully.