OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – One Oklahoma woman has been serving the homeless weekly for the past 11 years, and she’s now encouraging others to help their community as well.
Robyn Watanabe was inspired over a decade ago to help her fellow Oklahomans, specifically the ones she felt were ignored by society.
On Christmas weekend, she says many Oklahomans don’t have a place to stay, and when others are spending the holidays with their families, she spends it with her second family.
“They’re human just like us,” she said. “And it really does make a difference.”
Watanabe started small, first with making sandwiches and handing them out herself.
But since then, her mission has grown, and her organization Feed his Sheep has helped many Oklahomans get back on their feet by establishing a safe community and serving warm meals every Sunday.
“I want them to know that we’re going to be here every week,” she said.
“Just this morning, a gal came up and she had me. She said, ‘Thank you for being here today,’ because it’s a holiday weekend and most folks aren’t out doing what we do.”
She says every Sunday is important, but the Sunday after Christmas means more for both the volunteers and the people who come.
“It’s good to share and especially [on] these days because [many of our patrons’] families have written them off, for some reason,” she said.
“We don’t know [why] and we don’t care…We call this a judgement-free zone.”
Watanabe says there are members who came regularly who are now housed, and they now help the mission continue.
“We’ve helped to house several, probably dozens of people over the past eleven years,” she said. “They always say, ‘When I get on my feet, I’m going to give back. I want to come do what you do.'”
She adds many come to volunteer their time as well.
“This one gentleman that comes, he was homeless for several years and we met him here on the street first, and he’s been housed for probably four or five years now,” she said.
“Every Sunday morning, he comes to become the coffee man.”
Watanabe shared with KFOR that this community helped her through two cancer diagnoses, both of them she beat. And now there’s nothing stopping her from feeding this community this Sunday and every Sunday.
“It just gives us a good feeling,” she said.
“There’s no place else I’d rather be today than right here.”
For more information on Feed his Sheep, click here.