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Home : Community : Charity Connection : Stories : Warm Street Orphans
 

Stories from the Heart

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Caring and Sharing

While so many of us love making things for ourselves and our families, many in the Lion community go further, creating for those in need. Join us in this section and be touched by these true stories of caring and sharing submitted by Lion Brand readers.

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Warm Street Orphans

As a child, when my mother and grandmother would knit for the Red Cross, or take me along to deliver items for needy famlies in our area. It became clear that helping others makes a difference. One child, elderly person, or single mom ,in need, given a warm hat,scarf, mittens,socks,or blanket is one person a bit warmer. A person who knows they are not alone has hope, and encouragement to keep on trying, to keep going. Several women working together can accomplish wonders. As the saying goes, one small snowflake does not amount to much,but when many snowflakes get together, look what can happen.
A few years back, I began going door to door collecting food and clothing, with my children, during their years in Scouts. As a good deed project, we went door to door, collecting food, clothing,books and school supplies for the needy. Some people began donating yarn,and remnants of clothing. This little outreach grew. Soon we were delivering to up to 10 needy families a month, whose names we obtained through several churches,Social Services, and the Salvation Army. We began collecting day old bread and pastries from the local bakeries,and making up 300 sandwiches a week, from donated sandwich fillers, and taking supplies to inner city schools,and shelters,too. As children grew up,but I kept on with the little project.I bought Lion Brand yarn at Walmart,and Kmart,collected more yarn through donations, and sent it to my Mom in Canada, who made many pairs of mittens and hats for me to give away. As well as delivering many clothes to single moms in shelters,and high-rises for mostly single moms, I have held Christmas parties with new warm mittens,socks, and hats for the children, as well as other items, taken food and clothing to shelters, and soup kitchens, inner city schools,and orphanages, as well as to a center for teh elderly. Then, my heart went afield a bit farther, though I continued with local charity assistance. To date, I have sent warm clothing to Mongolia and Romania, and summery type clothing to Mexico, India, Africa, and Guatemala. Right now, I have set a goal of trying to send 5,000 warm socks, mittens, hats,and scarves,and blankets to Romanian street orphans for the upcoming 2007 winter. At present, I am living in Canada, to assist with my father,and aunt, who both are in poor health, but I do go back and forth to between here and my home in the USA. If anyone would care to contribute to my project,by donating new socks, mitts, or hats, etc, the children would be so blessed. I have transportation for the items, from Canada to the USA,and anyone wishing to contribute in the USA could send the items directly to the depot from which the items will be packed and sent to Romania. I was introduced to a wonderful American couple who have set up a terrific volunteer program to help feed and clothe some of the thousands of street orphans in Romania. I feel good about helping through them,as what is donated goes directly in shipping crates to the orphans,and is distributed to the children. Since the work is through volunteers,the children are the actual ones benefiting from the donations of clothing. Each day,through this kind couple, hundreds of Romanian street children are being fed hot meals, have access to a shower,and are given new clean,warm clothing to wear, and are being greatly encouraged to go to school. This couple is trying to instill hope,and the knowledge that they are loved,and not forgotten, to try to ensure that these children will avoid the dangers of the street,and the predators that sometimes lurk there. Working together, we can make a difference. One person cannot feed and clothe all the needy, but we can each help one or two. In my Canadian hometown, I have been so inspired by two young mothers, and their little( 7 and 9 yrs old) daughters, who have, to date knit almost 100 childrens and teenagers hats for this project I am helping with(At this point they have asked me to try to find yarn so they can make more. They are using those sets of plastic looms, my mother calls them corking, andt the hats are beautiful,warm,and colorful) If you wish to contribute a warm item for these precious Romanian children,or send yarn to be made into warm items, your help would be so greatly appreciated!! Bless you all, Debbie Stewart


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