Today I met a 55-year-old woman named Patsy who is raising 12 of her grandchildren. Both of Patsy's daughters have died -- one was murdered, one of natural causes -- and all of their combined 12 children are living with Patsy (who is disabled due to a bone disorder and diabetes) and her sister, who is a nurse's assistant. They have a decent house with a relative amount of room (who besides the Von Trapps could comfortably sleep 12 children?), but they are surviving on Patsy's sister's income and enough food stamps to feed five (5) people. They have a few beds, but most of them are sleeping on the floor, no pillows. If you want to hear more details of this story, please email me. Suffice it to say that this woman has her hands full.
I do not personally know these twelve children. I know one of them pretty well because Brian sometimes brings him to our house for dinner. His name is Dave; he's precious. I cannot vouch for each child's ability to behave appropriately or succeed in school or life. I also cannot vouch for any of their fathers, who
One night, when Dave came over for dinner, we were joking about how Brian goes to bed at 8:30 p.m., just after our children. Dave chimed in that they often go to bed at that time too. Because when you're asleep, you're not hungry.
Patsy told me today that they're fine until the end of the month. At that point, she has no way to purchase "bologna & wonder bread" and the children eat all.the.time.
My TWO eat us out of house and home. I cannot fathom TWELVE.
So, this post is just to say that if you want to really feel the spirit of Lenten sacrifice, please consider donating to this cause. My church group, my book club, and numerous other friends/family are contributing in an effort to ensure that every child in this family has a bed and at least one new outfit and pair of shoes by Easter (April 8th). So far, we have gathered twin bunk beds, two mattresses, some blankets/sheets, a bike, some clothes, and about $100 for food. Some of these expenses are one-time deals. Others are ongoing. I know it's a lot to take on, but I just can't sleep at night knowing that about 5 miles down the road there are children lying on the floor hungry. It just doesn't set well with my soul.
Tomorrow is a teacher work day, so the kids don't have to be in school ... which means they won't get their free breakfast and lunch. Those days are inordinately hard for families like this (let's not pretend this is isolated). I'm going out of town in the morning, but Brian is going to do some shopping for the family with the money we have raised so far. Please consider helping us (them) further.