Yesterday I planned to sew my brains out and get Orca Bay finished before the start of the Celtic Solstice mystery begins tomorrow. But I got a phone call from the church as I was preparing breakfast... a parishioner was in need of help. I am a member of our parish outreach program. We accept donations and use them to assist anyone in the community who is having a hard time making ends meet. So I ate my breakfast and jumped in the car to meet them and see what I could do to help.
This family was desperate. A stay-at-home mom with three beautiful little ones. A dad who hadn't worked in over a month. No gas in the car to search for a job. Meager food supplies in the cupboard. The utility and rent bills were overdue and scheduled for cutoff...but their savings was wiped out. The trailer they were living it was patched with cardboard, plastic and duct tape to keep the freezing air out. The heater was broken. The trailer was cold and temperatures were heading into the teens. The slumlord not making repairs and threatening eviction.
After consulting with other members of the group I spent most of the rest of the day fighting traffic, long lines and freezing temperatures. I arranged for the children to be placed on the parish angel tree to receive warm coats and a gift for Christmas. I also placed them on the list for a Christmas food basket. I was able to gather some warm clothes for the children, buy a space heater, pick up some groceries to stock the cupboard, pay the utility bill and I ran home for my gas can to fill their car's tank. By the end of the day I was cold and tired, but this family was going to be warm and fed through the holidays. Oh and the rent... there was a small office located in the middle of the trailer park that looked as bad as the trailer this family was living in... and as I looked around... all of the trailers were in bad shape. I found out the slumlord is never there... he just comes knocking on doors when the rent is due. I'm sure he was in a much nicer and heated home! Next week I think I'll make some inquiries as to what can be done about him and to help everyone living there.
So today, as I rush around and prepare my family's Thanksgiving meal I am thankful for many things...
My husband, who has been blessed with continuous steady employment that has kept our family housed, fed and comfortable for almost 29 years and has allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom to raise and care for our children and now our grandchildren.
For parishioners and community members who donate funds to our outreach program.
For my health and ability to help and serve others in need.
So today, I am wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.