Bahá’ís and friends in Redwood City participated in an effort for the homeless to bring some comfort to those less fortunate at this time of year.
The effort was launched by Andrea Carranza, a member of the Redwood City Bahá’í community who is also a student at San Francisco State University. “Spending so much time in the city I see so many homeless people …so that’s how this idea originally occurred to me”, Andrea said. Andrea and her mother Julia had previous experience with efforts on behalf of the homeless so they contacted the folks at the local Life Moves Shelter on Maple Street here in Redwood City and the staff there was happy to tell them about the things that their families need most: toiletries, clothing, and food. So Bahá’ís from Redwood City and friends from surrounding areas gathered at the Carranza residence to prepare packages for donation through the Life Moves Shelter. They assembled and customized 50 bags for women and 75 bags for men, along with food and clothing donations.
One of the central principles of the Bahá’í Faith is the elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty. Living in a prosperous and highly developed culture like ours it’s easy to forget that significant segments of our population do not share in this prosperity. But in recent years the voices reminding us of the huge share of wealth accumulated by the top 1 percent of the population are becoming louder and louder. The Bahá’í teachings make it clear that a readjustment in the conditions of mankind is coming, that the accumulation of enormous, unwieldy fortunes by a few at the expense of an unfortunate subgroup of the population will not be possible and that there will be a time in the not-too-distant future when destitution and homelessness will be eliminated.
“…Among the results of the manifestation of spiritual forces will be that the human world will adapt itself to a new social form, the justice of God will become manifest throughout human affairs, and human equality will be universally established. The poor will receive a great bestowal, and the rich attain eternal happiness. For although at the present time the rich enjoy the greatest luxury and comfort, they are nevertheless deprived of eternal happiness;
for eternal happiness is contingent upon giving, and the poor are everywhere in the state of abject need. Through the manifestation of God’s great equity the poor of the world will be rewarded and assisted fully, and there will be a readjustment in the economic conditions of mankind so that in the future there will not be the abnormally rich nor the abject poor. The rich will enjoy the privilege of this new economic condition as well as the poor, for owing to certain provisions and restrictions they will not be able to accumulate so much as to be burdened by its management, while the poor will be relieved from the stress of want and misery. The rich will enjoy his palace, and the poor will have his comfortable cottage.”
( – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá …from the Bahá’í Writings)