They’re not homeless, poor, or even struggling in the slightest. But three Oklahoma residents -- two women and a child -- stood on a street corner recently begging for help.
Brandy McCombs and her son, Cayden, and Lindsey Sanders decided to collect money for the homeless, but also wanted to get a sense of what it feels like to be somewhat vulnerable while they did it, the Tulsa World reported. So the three stood in the cold holding out cardboard signs that shared their mission with passersby.
While the volunteers knew they had a warm place to go at the end of the day, dealing with the stares and disinterested observers gave them some insight into what homeless people go through every day.
“The glares and the lack of eye contact sucked every bit of self-confidence and assurance completely out of me,” McCombs wrote on her blog.
See more photos of their efforts. Story continues below.
Altogether, they collected $67 for coats, food and other items the Tulsa homeless community needs.
At one point, McCombs was approached by a man who has been living on the streets for 12 years and she was able to help him on the spot, McCombs wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.
The initiative is part of the “Tulsa Homeless Outreach” program. The group meets once a month to disperse clothes, personal hygiene items, and food to the homeless, according to the group’s Facebook page.
Other groups have also had success with temporarily stepping into a homeless person’s shoes.
Last year, the Passage –- a nonprofit that empowers the homeless -– launched an ad campaign where non-homeless people stood in for people without roofs over their heads at the London Victoria station.
The volunteers held signs that explained that they were not homeless, but were trying to help out those who were.
One sign read, “If I Get Wet, I Can Change My Clothes. I’m Collecting For Someone Who Can’t.”
Within three hours, donations went up by 25 percent.