Kindness is a Two-Way Street


Students serve even during the summer. Photo by Dave DeGroot

Amina Khan, Staff writer

Students serve even during the summer. Photo by Dave DeGroot


Despite the boundaries humanity likes to draw through itself, everybody has far more similarities than differences; all people crave affection, and most of them genuinely care for each other. This concept is at the foundation of Operation Keep ‘Em Warm and Fed, founded 13 years ago by Bellarmine teacher Julie Campbell. Students bring fresh fruits like bananas and oranges, fun-sized candy bars, and a supply of vitamins, greeting homeless people on the street and distributing their gifts.

Operation KEWAF also functions with the help of volunteers, like Dotty Krist- Sterbick. She explained her enthusiasm for her 13 years of work by saying, “I think there are two really deep realities in life. There’s suffering in this world and there’s an even deeper love in this world. So, by being part of this work I get to be a part of both of those realities.”

Those realities can come together closer than many would realize: many of the homeless, despite facing their own troubles, can be kind, generous, and humorous people. In fact, one could argue that such kindness shows most when people are in the midst of suffering.

One particularly smiling soul is Gerald Littell, known in his childhood as “Boom.” Boom has many hobbies, including hiking, bicycling, Bible study, and fellowship with his friends. Being intermittently homeless for several years, Littell exclaims that in a year’s time he would like to be, “Just spreading the good news. Impacting the love that Christ has for us. Let Jesus’s light gleam through me, and let it gleam through me more.”

Even though he barely gets four or five hours of sleep at night, he says that he feels safe and that Jesus, his witness, protects him.

Boom has no electronic devices or anything materialistic, but he believes that he is highly favored and blessed. For Boom, the hardest part of being homeless is not having a private space to let him believe he has a place in the world, to keep his belongings and make himself comfortable. He explains what the word “home” means to him: “A place where I can kick off my shoes, take the trash out, make sure dishes are done, wake up in the morning, and don’t have to worry about where I put everything… I’ll be able to do Bible studies at my home and pay a little more attention.”

Boom would like the Bellarmine community to know that God blesses everyone, and it should continue to keep up its good work and studies. He says, “God bless you all, and if there’s anything I can do to help, let me know.”