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You wouldn’t believe the night we women at the homeless shelter had last night, and how it went from almost like a fun slumber party to ending with 911 being called when a severely emotional young woman in the group suffered a seizure after sharing very personal, painful memories about her life. Everyone gathered round to pray and I have honestly never felt more spiritual energy from praying as I did last night! It was powerful! Then this morning I received the following in my email. Its just amazing…
One day, when I was a freshman in high school,
I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school.
His name was Kyle.
It looked like he was carrying all of his books.
I thought to myself, ‘Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday?’
‘He must really be a nerd.’
I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.
As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him.
They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt.
His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him…
He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.
My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.
As I handed him his glasses, I said, ‘Those guys are jerks.’
They really should get lives…
‘He looked at me and said, ‘Hey thanks!’
There was a big smile on his face.
It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.
I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived.
As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before…
He said he had gone to private school before now.
I would have never hung out with a private school kid before.
We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.
He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.
I asked him if he wanted to play a little football
with my friends.
He said yes.
We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.
Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again.
I stopped him and said, ‘Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!’
He just laughed and handed me half the books.
Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends…
When we were seniors we began to think about college.
Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke.
I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem.
He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship.
Kyle was valedictorian of our class.
I teased him all the time about being a nerd.
He had to prepare a speech for graduation.
I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak .
Graduation day, I saw Kyle.
He looked great.
He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.
He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.
He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him.
Boy, sometimes I was jealous!
Today was one of those days.
I could see that he was nervous about his speech.
So, I smacked him on the back and said, ‘Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!’
He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled.
‘Thanks,’ he said.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began…
‘Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years…
Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach…but mostly your friends…..
I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.
‘I am going to tell you a story.’
I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told of the first day we met.
He had planned to kill himself over the weekend.
He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and he was carrying his stuff home.
He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.
‘Thankfully, I was saved.’
‘My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable…’
I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.
I saw his Mom and Dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.
Not until that moment did I realize it’s depth.
Never underestimate the power of your actions..
With one small gesture you can change a person’s life.
For better or for worse….
God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way.
Look for God in others.
This is the time of year when everyone looks to give to others. The holidays have a dramatic effect on people and I am no exception. I celebrate Christmas and my birthday is coming up very soon. Recent tweets by Jeff Shuey and Lotay Yang have inspired me! My mind is racing, contemplating what effort I might be able to do in celebration of my birthday and Christmas?! I would give anything to be able to organize an effort for a van to be donated to Cross and Crown Church so they can help the homeless! But that sadly is expensive and probably not as realistic a short-term goal at this time. So then what would be?! Perhaps I could organize a Christmas party and/or gifts for the homeless–maybe local businesses might be willing to donate? Gift certs and gift cards, free meals, gas cards, auto repair, clothes, shoes/boots…??? Maybe I could open a special PayPal account? I want to do something special for everyone! What can I do?!
I am grateful to many places which offer help for the homeless and those in need. The volunteers of these places offer help from their heart, and kindness from the spirit. It is such a beautiful gift that we receive, more than anything tangible.
Cross and Crown Church’s Ministry of Hope, in Arlington Heights on Saturdays, has a beautiful set up for a hot breakfast and lunch, with an optional worship service, and transportation to and from the church. The food is great! (Mmmm, my favorite–biscuits and gravy!!!) The optional worship service includes some great songs and music, discussion that we can all relate to, and sometimes even videos and popcorn. (Side note: laughing at Pastor’s jokes not required. LOL!)
In starting my site and blog it was my hope and prayer that I would be able to help others, including those like Cross and Crown who do so much and go out of their way to help people like me. I learned today that Cross and Crown has a volunteer because of ME and this site! How awesome and COOL is that?!?! I had a chance to meet her, and she is so sweet and bubbly with personality! She’s perfect as a volunteer!! Tell ya, when she told me she came to them because of reading my blog, I almost could have got up and hugged her! LOL. I am so glad to hear of things like this–that I AM making a difference! I sent Pastor Randy an email expressing how happy I am about being able to give something back to them. I feel really blessed and hope they do too. Thank you.
1st thing to mention, if you look above there is a new page for Polls! Please take a moment to read the poll and place your vote on the latest poll whenever you stop by!
The shelter was cold last night! Its the one thing I hate about going there, but the rest of the site is really nice. It’s small, but the food is good, its quiet, we get ice cream, there are games, the volunteers are great!
Another quiet day today. Not much going on. I had a great lunch at a local church, and now I am online. I’m somewhere I can’t use my software so I can’t update the website today again. I don’t have much time available online either. I think that I should be able to do something with the website tomorrow. So check back in a day or two and I’ll have a few more links and things. Sound good?!
It’s kind of a sad time of year for me. Not just Easter season, but the birthday of one of my children is coming up. I have no money to buy anything, and I haven’t seen my kids for two years. The, um, father and I don’t get along. Simply put. It kills me. It really kills me! I dream bad dreams almost every night about my kids, and their father’s abuses to me. My life is taken away by not seeing them. By not being with them, it really does kill me. Honestly, if not for faith in God, I’d be dead. Someday. Life will be better.
It’s a beautiful day in Chicagoland! I can’t complain. Ok, so well, I would prefer it to be sunny and 80 degrees but it’s not. But its coming! It may take a while, but it WILL happen.
Gosh, am I getting the attention today! I am wearing a form-fitting top. Need I say more? (Hey, guys, I appreciate you looking a little higher. Thank you.) I know, I should expect it. I don’t mind if guys look, just please don’t stare! I’ve met too many guys who do that who try to touch without permission or my wanting them to. So with that and my past abuse history, I don’t necessarily trust everyone. Some may call me stupid for dressing this way, and so what. Maybe I am. But I like it. I don’t look bad. I don’t look like a prostitute. I look feminine and fashionable is all. Like I said, if a guy wants to look, fine. Stare–I’d prefer not. Touch me–you get hit.
I am in a good mood today. Nothing special happened. I went to a local church for a delicious free meal and attended the service. It was great! My thought for the day is: Live a little! If it kills you, you will still go to heaven.
Have a great awesome day, everybody!!
The weather is a little wet, but hey, this is Chicagoland. The temperature is at least warmer. And everything else about today is just great! I can’t complain! I plan to meet with a guy from Cross and Crown Church on the 21st to talk about several things. The National Coalition for the Homeless has agreed to network with my site–so that’s more good news! I plan to do some advertising soon and pass out flyers for my site. For now I am counting on YOU for word of mouth and links in your emails to your friends! Please pass on word of Pads Chicago and tell everyone that they are more than welcome to voice their opinions on homelessness issues in the forums! Thanks! Have the bestest of days, people!
Kudos to Washington Rep. Brendan Williams (D) for sponsoring a bill which just passed in the state House on Tuesday which would allow churches to house the homeless inside or outside! A town in Washington had altered its laws after a local church decided to host the tent city “Camp Quixote”. The town restricted the homeless to be housed only inside buildings, and not within 300 feet of a daycare center or school. The town has recently amended the laws a bit, but I am guessing it took the fact that a House bill was up because of them.
This town clearly does not want the homeless! Is housing the homeless an eyesore?! I think that offering a homeless shelter shows a community who cares. Sure there are “bad apples” everywhere in society, not just the homeless. There are more homeless who are productive in their lives, working or getting medical care or education. They are clean and look presentable. You would never know they are homeless by looking at them. I am one of those people, and I know many others.
I am grateful for churches that are willing and able to house the homeless. They provide a great service–THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! You honestly can’t find a better help and care for the homeless than the volunteers at homeless shelters! It is they who inspire us, give us a good meal and a warm place to stay. They converse with us and we feel like family. We feel like we belong and we matter. They obviously volunteer with their heart.
I have to recommend everyone sit down with a homeless person and talk to them. There is so much that we can learn from each other! We need to combat the stereotype that towns like that one in Washington have of the homeless. Don’t try to get rid of us. Be a friend and understand that we are actually no different than you and your neighbor.
You can read the article I saw here.