Heartwarming Story

A little something to warm your heart this holiday season...

"As we worked on the puzzle together, a couple of the reactions of this friendly and somewhat precocious little 3 year old really gave me a chuckle. Whenever we tried to connect pieces that didn’t go together, she’d say, “Nahhhhh….” in a really deep and growly voice and shake her head. But what was even more adorable was how she would acknowledge those connections that were correct. She would say, “Mmmmhmmm…..mmmmhmmmm” with the intonation of a detective who has just uncovered a new clue. I was also impressed how tenacious this little girl was at working with this puzzle whose pieces, due to some overuse, did not want to stay connected, did not get frustrated or lose her temper. She just really enjoyed the process. Before we finished, her older brother came over to lend a hand, too. Once the puzzle was complete, she got an invitation from another 3 year old to come play with paper airplanes that his dad had just masterfully crafted. The two threw paper airplanes into the air and chased them to their carpeted landing strips all around the room, running and making airplane sounds while piloting their mini air force.

...sounds like a slice right out of a Norman Rockwell painting, doesn’t it? Kids playing, parents and friends looking on adoringly…but this scene didn’t play out at a family birthday party or neighborhood picnic. In fact, until about 1 week ago, these playful, busy little three year olds didn’t even know each other. Now, they are eating two meals a day together, spending their evenings playing together and sleeping under the same roof, the roof of a church that is hosting the Grundy Area PADS shelter from which their families are currently receiving help because they are homeless.

It is likely that within a few weeks, one of the families will be moving on due to some opportunities that will help them out of homelessness, but will also take them out of state. I wonder if these two little friends will miss each other when one moves away? I wonder if their paths will ever cross again? I wonder what the future holds for these little people? Will one of them be the next Jim Carrey, Dr. Phil or Suze Orman, all who have described a period of homelessness in their lives?

Of course none of us knows what their future holds. But I am so thankful that I know where they are tonight. As the frost was already developing on the ground when I got home, I learned the low will be 14 degrees tonight. Yet, our two pilots have safely landed at Peace Lutheran Church where they are sleeping in a comfy cozy environment with their parents close by. They had a very tasty meal of fried chicken and fixin’s donated by U.C.Davis Callahan Funeral Home for dinner and tomorrow morning, one of the volunteers has already promised biscuits and gravy for breakfast. The overnight volunteers will make a sack lunch that will be made according to their specific requests.

You know, I doubt that either of them even realizes they are homeless tonight. I know for sure they know they are loved.

Come be a part of this heartwarming opportunity. You will make a big difference in their lives, but they will make an even bigger difference in yours. We need you. Our pilots need you...at any one of the four landing strips throughout Morris on any given night. Your help is needed. Call Tammy, our Volunteer Coordinator, at 815-474-7899 to find a shift on a day that works for you. "

Thank you for sharing those warm thoughts this holiday season with us Denise Gaska!