Saturday, December 1, 2012

Thanksgiving Day in a Homeless Shelter....

We didn't have a traditional Thanksgiving Day this year.  Our youngest son, who has been gone for two years, was scheduled to come home a week after Thanksgiving.  So, rather than having two big celebrations so close together, we decided to forego our regular Thanksgiving Day and have it a week later to celebrate his return.  What a great way to be thankful, right?

That gave us THE Thanksgiving Day to do what we have been wanting to do for a long time.  We volunteered to work in a homeless shelter.  It was an all day operation for them and they only wanted a couple of hours from us.

And it was an eye-opener.  We don't live high on the hog but we certainly have more than the average person on the street.

The area we were assigned to was the baggage check.  Baggage check, you say?  Yes, they have a lot of baggage and they take it everywhere with them.  To eliminate the concern of drugs or weapons being taken into the massive eating hall, the individuals are asked to leave their things in a safe area where we would tag each bag.  They could retrieve them as they left.

Some gladly left their things, almost in a relief not to have to carry them any longer.  Others clutched them closely,  concerned they would never see them again.

Some would share their stories with us, telling us of their travels and their dreams and where they wanted to visit next.  Others were just looking for a hot meal and somewhere to be on this cold morning.

Some were all alone.  Others came in families, complete with strollers and babies and grandmas to hold them.

I am not sure how much we helped.  But I was happy to share my day with them.  And I thought about all the people I had met that night as I snuggled in my nice warm bed........knowing that most of us, with a bad turn of events, could be in those same circumstances..........

Yes, it was a great Thanksgiving in so many ways.

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