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Solidarity Saturdays in America’s Farm to Fork Capital 

by Verde Arzu

Solidarity Saturdays

Solidarity Saturdays is a not-for-profit program led by Kachiside Madu of @makeitmadu images (IG). This organization provides clothing, food, and personal items to people in the community suffering from homelessness. “We are cultivating relationships, impacting our communities while bringing awareness to the displacement crisis in Sacramento,” Madu states on his social media page.

This past weekend was my first day as a volunteer at Solidarity Saturdays. I volunteered alongside Madu and others who have consistently shown up on countless 2nd Saturdays of the month to serve the people in Sacramento.

My Experience with Solidarity Saturdays

This experience was a powerful one for me because I had an opportunity to be up close and personal with people in the city that I live in who are without homes. I drive by or walk by them daily. We all do. It is one thing to occasionally stop, roll down my window and give whatever change I have in my car or provide a free meal to someone from time to time. It is quite the other to connect to their humanity and be reminded that they are no different from me. To see a daughter, a mother, a sister, a father, a nephew, a brother, a friend. These are people who are more than their current circumstances. People who aren’t a single story. People who simply need help in one form or the other. 

My emotions were a swinging pendulum. I was moved from sad to angry.  From feeling helpless to realizing I am someone who is not doing enough. I wanted to cry but I forced my tears back in. I didn’t feel like I had a right to cry–to feel sorry for anyone. Feeling sorry wasn’t going to change a damn thing, I told myself. My emotions were conflicted because I kept reminding myself that I AM NOT THE ONE WHO IS WITHOUT A HOUSE TO LIVE IN. This is not about you, I kept telling myself. Then, I fought to be gentle with myself. I wanted to honor and make room for my feelings. Of course I was emotional. People living on the street without their basic needs being met is not normal. Unlike Kachiside Madu, many of us have all found a way to normalize homelessness, to distance ourselves from their sufferings. Yet, people experiencing homelessness is a national crisis.

Humanity In All People

I am reminded that I must always look into the eyes of those who are suffering from homelessness, see their humanity, and see myself, too. We are no different from each other. Our stories may vary, our experiences may differ, but we are the same–we are all human.

I saw people living in tents on the side of the road right underneath a vibrantly colored, painted sign that read, “We are America’s farm to fork capital.”  Imagine a row of people living in tattered tents with trash scattered everywhere (the city doesn’t even provide them with trash cans) with messaging like this. Envision living outside in tumultuous weather throughout the seasons, no fresh food or water, right underneath this sign. Can you imagine that?


Madu is out serving the people every second Saturday of the month, building community, relationships, and making people feel loved and remembered. Our support can include donations such as personal items and clothes, (he posts a list on his social media page monthly), volunteering to assemble “care packages”, or walking in the community to hand out items directly to the people. Madu’s mission is simple, serve the people in the community who need it. Madu never puts pressure on others to volunteer, “If you can’t today, just know that every second Saturday from 11-1, we are at 1590 North A Street!”

As I handed someone a care package or a cold bottle of water, and they shared their gratitude, my response was, “you’re welcome,” but my heart screamed, “this is the LEAST I can do!” I am forever grateful for Solidarity Saturdays, a program in service to the people.

If you live in Sacramento, CA and want to volunteer for Solidarity Saturdays or provide donations, reach out to @makeitmadu on Instagram to learn more.

“The poorest [person] in the world is not the one without money but the one without people.” 

-African Proverb