every summer, friends from our church get together every few weeks in a downtown park to grill dogs and burgers, snack on chips and desserts, and play soccer or frisbee. we drive around the hangout spots downtown to invite local lawrencians and the homeless to join us in a "family" cookout. we started doing this 3 years ago after making friends with a couple that was homeless and hearing them describe how it feels to be looked down on, or worse, overlooked; to not have friends, or even friendly conversation; and to never be touched. my good friends casey, jon and i decided we may not be able to do much to thwart poverty and hunger, but we could at least be friendly and welcoming to people who don't often feel welcomed among friends. hence, the cookouts. here's a group of us last saturday. even though it was stinking hot, we had a good time!