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Best Time of the Year

Jonathan Hinshaw - Sunday, December 13, 2015

It’s On My Heart: Best Time of the Year                                                          Jim Hinshaw

The holiday season is my favorite time of the year, I think about others and share what people who think about others are doing.  Also get to eat lot of stuff that is normally off limits, just had dinner with my son Jon and his wife Shalaine, they had Mochi Balls (Japanese ice cream) AND chocolate cookies for dessert.  But enough about me, this article is about a young man who is setting the bar high for guys his age: Andy Hobaica.  Andy, son of Lou and Jane (Lou is president of Hobaica Services in Phx) is 28 years old.  I say that because what he has accomplished and is accomplishing is excellent for a guy any age, remarkable for a young man.  When I told him that, he quickly laid the blame on his parents, saying it is their fault, he was raised to think of others going back to his grandfather Paul senior who founded Hobaica back decades ago. 

About 5 years ago, he was doing the regular stuff a lot of us do, giving a dollar or two at stoplights to the homeless person sitting by the road with a cardboard sign, when he decided to take it a step further.  He put some bags together with granola bars, water, basic toiletries, handed them out at stoplights.  Soon he found he was going to the grocery store and spending $500 of his own money to fill these bags.  It got legs.  I found him on Facebook, where I find a lot of things positive about life.  Some of you are saying, FB: where you get to see what a lot of bored people had for breakfast.  True, you can see that, but in reality, you see what you are looking for.

Facebook is all about what is happening in your life.  In Andy’s case, he is helping out the homeless in very positive ways.  About 18 months ago he put together a package (One Bag At A Time through Carry Me Productions) to help with fund raising.  Go to his FB page, see link below.  His folks just posted on FB how they had scored 30 jacket/pants/blankets at Goodwill on green tag Thursday at $1 apiece, 30 items he will give out to the homeless now that the weather has turned chilly.  He did an event in Oct, where he gave out over 600 bags of food and water, actually ran out of supplies.  So in November, he got help.  A couple of scout troops came to his rescue, paid for and assembled over 800 bags of food and water, Andy also had a portable generator, couple of barbers to give haircuts, a connection table to help them connect up with friends and family members, a real event.  They gave out socks, shoes, shirts, pants, jackets, even blankets, as well as trimmed hair, talked to people that have been ignored or worse for years, showed they cared.    

Here is his gofundme page, and facebook link. 

https://www.gofundme.com/bjpnxc

https://www.facebook.com/HomelessGrabBag/?pnref=story

When you ask Andy how this works today, he is on an emotional high, just finished another event downtown.  He will share how the average person on the street will tell you they haven’t eaten anything in the last 24 hours, and they will thank him 10 times, they are really grateful. 

So here is my question for you: what are you doing this holiday season?  There are lots of opportunities all around us, Andy started with a few bottles of water he carried along in his work van.  5 years later it has grown into a project that is involving lots of people, some of the scouts are half his age, but seeing a role model that gives them the message that they need to give back.  And you also have people my age (a multiple of Andy’s!), who are thinking, what can I do?

Here are a couple of ideas: visit a homeless shelter during the holidays.  There are 20 listed on this link:  http://www.shelterlistings.org/city/phoenix-az.html

Visit a hospital, ask who has no family visiting during the holidays.  The nurses station will be glad to connect you up to someone lonely, it is really depressing to be alone in a hospital, much less at the holiday season. 

Connect up with a local church, ask if they have an invalid who needs some cheering up at this time of year. 

Don’t ignore your neighborhood, there may be someone on your street who is going through a rough patch, you may be just what is needed to provide them a positive experience. 

Sorry to get preachy, but I felt like you needed to hear a positive message this time of year, and this is one!  Thanks for being involved, we’ll talk next year!


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