Backpack Chat with Nancy
Continuing from last week I really want to encourage all parents out there to listen to their children. They have an innocent, unique and very clear way of viewing the world.
I never would have believed that after putting together fifteen backpacks and delivering them to Inn from the Cold; six years later we would be on such a passionate journey of helping to end family homelessness. Day after day of working with Stephen and his village of Physiotherapists, O/T’s ,Specialists and wonderful aids the last thing we ever expected was to be coordinating a National Charity. It is wonderful to see what can happen when you put more energy in the gifts of a child rather than the challenges they face. It is not what they have but what they give!
The second year I guess Nov 2007 Stephen started seeing the Christmas decorations going up in shopping malls and asked the question again. “Are there still kids on the street Mommy?” “Yes there is Stephen,” I answered. “I’ll need to make bigger backpacks!” Stephen exclaimed. Wow, what would possess this little one to continue on this advocacy for children in need? As he was interviewed by Ann Beatty from our local paper, he proudly told her he was going to do 150 backpacks this year. The hardest thing for a Mom is to see her children disappointed. “That’s a lot more than 15 Stephen,” I cautioned him. “Dream Out Loud Mommy!” Our home was overtaken by the community’s outpouring of love. Every day someone showed up with a Barbie collection, shoes, homemade slippers, donations and the list goes on. There were backpacks on every floor. It looked like Santa’s workshop. A big yellow school bus pulled up to our home Dec 24, 2007 and it was loaded almost to overflowing with over 265 beautifully decorated backpacks. We entered the Inn in Calgary and I found myself choking at the number of families without a home for Christmas. This shy little boy helped unload the bus and hand out Christmas gifts of hope to many children. There was a special feeling in all of my family’s hearts this Christmas- a real awakening to a very serious problem. Many kids very close to us had no home, no bed and no toys this Christmas. We remembered all the children’s faces filled with joy as they unpacked their new treasures from their new Backpacks.. Our family had many Christmas traditions and this one I must say was at the top of our list. Dec 24th had a whole new meaning for our family!
We would love to have you and your family join us for our 6th annual Christmas Eve 2012 Special delivery. Please email me to reserve your seats firstname.lastname@example.org. We have outgrown the big yellow school bus and now First Student donates an awesome coach bus. I look forward to hearing from you and sharing our family tradition with your family.
Find out next week how 265 Christmas Backpacks gifts of hope became 1025!!! Until next week take care of yourself and others!