As you may know (or not) I work on staff at a homeless shelter.
Our organization is already primarily supported by community donations. Through the year we are fortunate to receive money, food, volunteered services and the like from local church/civic groups and individuals. We know in the back of our minds that this kind of thing keeps us afloat and able to continue our call to help those who need it most.
Hats and gloves and turkeys, turkeys, turkeys!!! And horribly rich treats everywhere!!! Cash!! Checks!! Coats!! Toys brought in "just in case you have little ones with no place else to go"!!! It comes in. First a trickle, then a stream, then a flood. It's amazing to see. It's also a reminder to all of us on staff that our residents are not forgotten, though at other times of the year it feels that way.
I guess part of what I'm trying to say is that when you guys donate to your local charities and volunteer and stuff I like to think about you doing for others what our staff and community does for the folks I work with every day.
Ok, I'm articulating this poorly, ...thanks and hugs is what I'm trying to say.
So, I'm here on Christmas. With me are: young moms with little kids booted out by "boyfriends" into the cold; old men long bereft of family; veterans unable to cope and men of all ages trying to return to a normal life after drugs and/or prison.
This will be my fifth Christmas in a row working at the Mission and you know what? I wouldn't trade it for anything.