I spent a day in the park selling, networking, chatting, and playing. It was a truly eclectic experience as I came in contact with people of all ages, colors, personalities, and walks of life.
Hemming Park in Jacksonville, FL is an up and coming area offering outdoor entertainment, dining, visual and performing arts, and children’s activities. It is also an attraction for homeless folks as it is wide open in the middle of downtown. Although, I was bothered by the cigarette and cigar smoke that wafted into my booth for five hours, I was intrigued by the ongoing checker and chess games played by men and women, young and old, homeless and not. It seems to be their meeting place and I was glad they had it.
Christian, a 22 year old gentleman with Downs Syndrome, hung out with me for quite a while. I believe his mother was playing chess across the way. He colored and played right along with the children. He handed me his credit card at one point to buy a few things but scoffed at the prices. I gave him a handmade Christmas card and a shopping bag he liked. He talked with anybody about anything. It was priceless.
This family hung out with me for a good thirty minutes. While her children played with the Fundanoodle products, the mom and I talked a lot about education. She supports her children so strongly and has gone to great lengths to ensure their quality education. The kids helped me clean up my booth. They got a free handmade Christmas card too.
It was a great day for a lot of reasons. The number one reason: the people.