LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Trays of mac and cheese and boxes of fruit juice, blankets, clothes, hygiene items, and sleeping bags, and more are all loaded in the trunks as part of the Feed My Sheep Homeless Outreach caravan. Sandra Lambert and her volunteers carpool to various parks around the Las Vegas valley giving away meals and essentials to men and women without homes.
“The key to this is getting to know these people, and building the relationships with them,” Lambert said.
Getting to know the people she serves is important because Sandra’s views about the homeless were very different than what they are today.
She started the group eight years ago as an annual coat drive. Then it snowballed into a biweekly event. However, before Sandra found her calling to serve the homeless, she says didn’t have a high opinion of the men and women who sleep in these parks. It wasn’t until she saw her own family impacted. Two of her nieces are battling drug addiction.
“One of them kind of lives off and on the streets so I have a feeling that’s deep at the root maybe of why I just even started the coat drive eight years ago,” Sandra said. “My other niece is totally sober right now and has done a complete 360, so there’s hope. There is hope for the people on the streets.”
The week of Thanksgiving, Sandra organized Feed My Sheep’s first Potluck in the Park. Thanksgiving fixings like, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and peach cobbler and of course turkey were prepared by volunteers and served, restaurant-style, to anyone who was hungry for a hot plate. Sandra led the blessing of the meal.
Sandra wants to turn Feed My Sheep into a nonprofit, with a goal to make Potluck in the Park a monthly event. She hopes more valley residents will join her flock, but she says the ultimate goal, is to run a homeless village.
“Where it’s self-functioning. Where we’re helping them get back on their feet, in homes, and contributing back into society.”
Sandra’s service is why she’s December’s Vegas Stronger Champion.
If you’d like to help Sandra’s cause, click on her Facebook page Feed My Sheep Homeless Outreach.