It was a really windy night in downtown Nashville and the clouds that slowly approached were pitch black. We were praying that the storm would off until later that night and we were very lucky when all we had to deal with were a couple of raindrops. We set up the bags of toiletries, the toys, and the candy that had been donated on a table in the plaza. Those experiencing homelessness really appreciated the items and donations and the candy was a huge hit with people of all ages.
It broke my heart to see children running around oblivious to the circumstances that they were facing. It was sad to think that they had no home and I had a huge one. They had almost no clothes and I had a closet full of them. Almost as soon as we got out the toys they asked to play with them. I got to play catch with some of them and teach others how to use a yo-yo. It was really nice to see a smile spread over their faces. The adults seemed happy to see the children happy.
When the children got tired of playing, I went back to the table of donations to see what I could help with. I was shocked to see that almost everything that we had brought was gone and there were still people in line who needed toiletries. Not many people had brought donations and it was obvious in the small number of things that we had brought. It just wasn’t enough.
About halfway through the night I had the opportunity to talk to some of the people at the plaza. I met a family of three: a mom, a dad, and a son. They had been in Nashville for almost 12 years. I talked with them for about 30 minutes and I learned that they used to live up north and the parents had been married for 12 years. I walked away understanding that they are just like us but they had hit a rough spot and need a little help getting back on their feet.
When it came time for me to leave, I said goodbye to the little kids that I had played with, goodbye to the family I had to talked to, and I thanked Sydnee and her mom for everything that they do. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn about the needs of the homeless if it wasn’t for them and Jumbled Dreams. I prayed that the weather was nice that night, especially with the possibility of tornadoes. Whenever I feel ungrateful for something, my mind always goes back to those faces and smiles and how little they have, but how happy and kind they are, and it makes me grateful for all of the things and opportunities that are available to me.
If you would like to help Rachel, Sydnee, and Jumbled Dreams make a difference, consider a donation to their cause today!