Certain events will get you. There are certain things that will tug at your heartstrings and Christmas morning was one of them. My kids were spending Christmas morning with their mom and I was preparing a feast later that day.
In town, we have a homeless shelter and I have helped out in the past with bag lunch delivery, donations, etc. But on Christmas morning, I decided to go and help cook breakfast for 145 homeless people–men…women…single…families…black…white….it did not matter. I dragged my butt from bed (I rarely sleep on Christmas Eve–been a thing since I was a kid) at 6:30am and headed over to fire up the griddle and start to mix pancakes while the others began to cook the bacon and sausage.
I am not blind to homelessness at all. But this Christmas morning it really hit me. The small children were dependent on the generosity of strangers for Santa to bring them gifts–which we also brought. The looks in the eyes of the parents was incredible. I was manning the griddle cooking more than 500 pancakes so I was unable to see everyone we served, but when all was said and done, there were smiles from the volunteers and laughter and strains of Merry Christmas from the residents. Me? I left with tears in my eyes.
Homelessness is such an issue. I suspect that for a little bit of luck, many of us single parents might be (or may have been) close to homelessness ourselves. If you have a homeless shelter in your area, I highly recommend taking your children and volunteering. It will make a world of difference in the life of a stranger–and even better, it will make a world of difference in yours!