I have been with Kids Wish Network for almost two years now and have had the opportunity to experience so many different things. I feel so blessed to be part of something that not only gives back but brings hope and happiness for so many different children that walk on so many different paths in life. For example, last year before the Holidays we decided that we really needed to help children right in our “backyard.” They economy has been so difficult and has caused many charities to be stretched beyond their limits. After working with many charities that serve the homeless and underprivileged children in our area, I started to become more and more aware of how bad things really are out there for these families and their children.
Two weeks ago, a charity called American Ending Homelessness stopped by after hearing about what we do from other local facilities in the area. When I asked them about their services they began to explain that they go out into the woods where homeless people live and try to provide them with anything that they might need. I was touched by their passion but was completely taken back when they mentioned the number of children that were homeless and living in these conditions. My heart broke. We were able to donate over $40,000 of merchandise to them. I was invited to go out into the woods with the volunteers so I could see how they work and how our donation would be put to use. There was no question in my mind that I was on a mission and I was happy to be going with the volunteers.
When I arrived at the location I was just heartbroken. I came face to face with over 20 kids who didn’t have homes. The people living in these conditions, as you can imagine, are very depressed. As I began to converse with some of these children I realized how blessed I am. The problems I have are nothing compared to what these children face every day of their lives. As Kirk Stevens from Americans Ending Homelessness began to ask the children what they needed, they replied with very basic everyday needs. When I left that night, it was cold. I couldn’t stop thinking about their precious little faces and how happy they were for us to visit. I cried most of the night just thinking about these poor people with no where to go and wondering where the next meal would come from or if anyone out there even cared about them. I almost felt guilty crawling into my own bed knowing that my children were clean, warm and fed.
I am so proud of Kids Wish Network because the truth is is that we really do work hard to make dreams come true and to make a difference in the lives of children across the nation. Many of you reading this right now are all over the United States. This problem is everywhere, not just here. I was honored to be with this wonderful group of people who are on a mission to end homelessness and equally honored to represent Kids Wish Network.