Chapter 1-Christmas Season
Tales Of An Everyday Volunteer
Celebrating Christmas is a joyous time for all, where you get to spend time with family and get some gifts out of it to. But this isn't the case for everybody. Volunteers of Harford Family House gather on a chilly December evening a week from Christmas.
Three businesses have offered to pay to take over 40 homeless children shopping. Each can spend $100 on whatever they want. What may not seem like a big deal, makes a huge difference in that child's life. It might just be walking a child around the store to the average eye, but there is a story behind each and every person. This is all the more true with the homeless.
Some of the stories that you are about to hear will break you heart. These families have been through so much, most of it unrecognized. Their stories untold to anybody, but each other. Few people cared enough to listen and help. These are their stories.
A child who has nothing, and certainly not an extra $100 to spend. Hearing that he gets to pick out anything he wants in the store. His eyes light up as he exclaims "100 DOLLARS! THATS ALMOST ENOUGH TO BUY 5 iPADS!" as he runs up and down the aisles to his hearts content. He got so much joy out of such a simple act. They got to have a Christmas with a gift worth more then the $100 they got that night. They got to experience what it was like to have a Christmas where you can have anything you want stress free with no worries of money.
Sports can cost a lot of money, especially when you don't have any money to spend. While running through the store the child discovered the sports section. He wanted a ball, but they were all deflated. The ball, costing a mere $10, was a huge deal for the child. He wanted the ball, but he wouldn't be able to use it if it was deflated. Unknowing of the $100 he could use he vigorously searched for an inflated ball. Until the volunteer with him said "Why not just get a pump?" and the child froze. The pump only cost and additional $6, the child still drastically below his $100 limit. The child was shocked that he got a ball AND a pump. The child was not used to having extra spending money. The extra $6 made the child overflow with joy.
Two teenage girls shopping with a $100, what could be better? They roamed the clothing section trying on anything and everything the saw fit. They went on a shopping spree buying all the clothes the wanted. They had been wearing hand-me-downs for ages. "Its been 4 years since Ive had a new shirt." the girl exclaimed. Because whats better then new clothes? New clothes for the first time in 4 years! Remember this next time you get new clothes, not everybody is privileged enough to have new clothes.Some people have hand-me-downs their whole life.
A boy whos father has passed, and his mother with a terminal illness in desperate need for some Christmas cheer. He started out just looking around not wanting to buy anything, not talking at all. He had no man in his life to act as his father and his mother ready to die, there was only the homeless shelter to take care of him. When he started walking around for a little bit, he started to open up. The volunteer taking him was around the age his father would have been. They started talking and enjoying themselves. He might not have taken any material objects home that day, but he had one amazing time talking and opening up to someone.
These are just a few stories from one event. There are so many other stories from this event alone. Such a small fraction of the shelter and the county,state, and country. Everybody has a story, some more drastic, some more plain. But everybody has a story that got them to where they are. We are all human, we are all weak. Its our humanity that brings us together to help people less fortunate with stories 20 times worse the ours. This is what makes us human, alone we are weak, but when we work together we are strong.