Friday, December 17, 2010

The homeless perspective

Today I had the privilege of donating clothes to a wonderful organization. The organization is Children Today in Long Beach. The mission of Children Today is to provide community based services to children and families experiencing homelessness, fostering long-term family stability and success. The service that I saw today was the Play House in West Long Beach. In the early 1990's I worked with inner city kids in Long Beach so I know most all of the areas and I can tell you that this is a perfect spot for the facility but not a place where the typical Orange County person would find themselves. The Play House is a place for kids of homeless parents to enjoy time eating, playing, doing art projects, playing in the park and on a play structure all in the comfort and safety of the facility while the parents work on finding permanent housing, jobs, etc.

As I toured the facility after dropping off the clothes that the Turner's, Donaldson's and Faulk's had donated I asked myself the question, "What is the difference between Patrick and these kids?" The answer was, absolutely nothing. The economic circumstances differ and the culture is different but the reality is that kids during the early years know nothing of these things. They just want comfort, love and stability. That is what Children Today helps provide. As I saw the kids at the facility I just wanted to stop and play with them and be a part of their life, but alas a work day awaited me.

So what can we do? How can we be a part of the solution? The answer is "it's all about the clothes." Homeless Moms and Dads do not always have clean clothes for their kids and as the kids play the clothes often become dirty. Sometimes accidents happen (as every parent is well aware) that cause the clothes to become soiled. At these times Children Today can offer the kids a new set of clothes from the ones that have been donated. These clothes are a gift to the kids and the parents and nothing is expected in return. So therefore there is a constant need for clothes for the kids (ages 6 months to 6 years)

What are you doing with the clothes that your kid has outgrown? Goodwill, closet storage, etc.? If you are reading this and are in Orange County, please help me help the kids who need it the most. I will pick up your old clothes and deliver them to the Play House and together we can be a part of the solution. Just leave a comment or a Facebook message at any time.

For the kids


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