In Her Own Words…
I had a hard time sleeping after I heard my mother’s story. To think that, over forty years later, she could still conjure up the shame and inferiority she felt arriving at school in her torn, ill-fitting clothing was almost too much to bear. An attractive pair of shoes that fit was all it would have taken for her to feel like a million bucks on that first day of school. A dress to be proud of. A pencil case. “Heather,” she said, “if someone had given me those simple gifts, I would have remembered them for the rest of my life.”
I had been feeling overwhelmed by world poverty for some time before hearing my mother’s story. How could one person make a difference in the face of such desperate and immense need? Suddenly, that need became personal, embodied by my own mother’s story. I then realized that changing the world happens one person at a time. A single act of generosity can ripple throughout a child’s life, shaping who they ultimately become.
We can be overwhelmed by the number of Bay Area children who experience homelessness. Or, we can reach out to each precious child who dreads school because she is ashamed of the way she looks. Think of Patricia, or Miguel, or LaShawn. Imagine touching that child’s life with the gift of a brand new school wardrobe. As my mother would tell you, it’s a simple gift, but it can have remarkable results.