December 9, 2015

Christmas Alternatives

You probably think that life has to be pretty terrible for the Mission to be your best Christmas ever. That may be true. But we do have a safe, warm, caring place where anyone who’s homeless can breathe a sigh of relief.

Because now they are safe.

Now they are going to have enough to eat.

Now they don’t have to shiver in the cold all night.

They appreciate the special touches so much. When someone brings in hand-knitted caps, the dining hall becomes a sea of woven color. And they’ll wear that cap every day until it falls apart. The women “ooh” and “ah” at the homemade quilts on their bed. The children are thrilled to help decorate a tree or make a homemade Christmas card.

As bad as it is to spend Christmas in a homeless shelter, it’s worse to be unsheltered, hungry or living in fear for your life because of domestic violence.

Without the Mission, our residents may spend their Christmas instead:

  • Trying to be invisible, possibly walking around all day aimlessly.
  • Eating scraps of cold food, maybe even something fished out of a dumpster.
  • Feeling isolated, lonely, with no one in the world to care for them.
  • Experiencing embarrassment, shame as people look away as they pass by.
  • Passing out from exhaustion under a bush or in an alley, not sure if they’ll wake up in the morning because they could freeze to death or be attacked.

Christmas is the time of year when family and friends come together – a time when we want to feel loved, safe and cared for. The Mission may not come to mind as the best place to spend Christmas. But with your help, we’ll make sure everyone feels welcome and at home!

Sylvia Anderson