Monday, March 21, 2011

about inspiration.

Last week, I went with my boss to a luncheon for Wind Youth Services.  If you are unfamiliar, Wind is an organization designed for giving homeless youth a home.  It's more than just walls, though.  It's trained counselors, nurses, artists, caregivers and whole hearted good people.  The facility is fabulous.  It has a washer and dryer, a high school with a sweet teacher, a place for them to get treated if they are sick, and big open space for the youth to learn.  There is also a full-time shelter that houses kids permanently up until they are 18 years old, or until they have a place to go.
{image courtesy of the Wind Youth Services Website}
Although I was impressed by the facility, I was even more impressed by J.  J gave me a tour around the entire property.  And while I was getting the tour, I thought she worked there.  I thought she was a counselor who helped out the youth.  And at the end of the tour, she said "I live in the shelter".

J is one in a million.  She is so kind and vibrant.  She didn't wear any resentment on her sleeves.  She was just happy to show me around.  Impressed is an understatement.

It's hard to believe and understand how many homeless youth are living around us.  Many of them were just born into it, some of them were abandoned, and some of them end up homeless by chance.  According to the organization, an estimated 1700 homeless youth live in my area alone.

J inspired me, and here I thought meeting them I was supposed to do the inspiring.

Meeting her got me thinking.  I thought about her all weekend.  Her strength, her ability to persevere.

I wrote her a thank you card and gave it to her this morning (we did a youth homeless outreach event today - the youth from Wind were helping us feed the homeless).  I hope she knows how impressed I was by her.

"Life is like a game of cards.  The hand that is dealt to you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will." 
-Jawaharal Nehru

"After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box."  
Italian Proverb

"One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure."  
-William Feather

{PS. her name isn't "J" - I did that to protect her identity.}
If you are interested in learning more about the shelter or donating, click on the link above.

14 comments:

Brandi said...

This post really gave me something to think about. When we picture a homeless face, that face is never a childs. It's heartbreaking to know that there are so many children out there without family, without a home. This has really touched my heart :)

Emily said...

I love this...as a teacher I have a homeless child in my class. It is people like you who help make them feel the love they seek. What a great organization...I know each day my sweet boy is thankful to have a school to attend and make his day a little less stressful and "safe".

MJW said...

Very inspiring post. So many of us take what we have for-granted...

Hair Bows and Tutus said...

Homelessness is a tragedy! My daughter's school provides lunches for our local homeless shelter everyday. Each grade takes a turn. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Ashley said...

Thank you for writing about this wonderful program. I've never heard about it.

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

This is such a great post. Sometimes I get so caught up in everyday lfe I forget about what I take for granted.

Jax said...

What a great organization! We have one like that here. My friend's hubs works in their street outreach program. He actually goes and finds homeless teens and works with them, trying to get them to come to the organization, either for shelter or for the day program. The people that work in these programs are just such amazing individuals adn teh things they do are beyond comprehension! Great blog and great inspiration, girlie!

Heather said...

Loved reading this. I love hearing about ministries who are helping youth, and others in need. So many lives are touched by such!!

So exciting that you are going to Ireland!! The Cliffs of Moher & Giants Causeway were breathtaking...I'd go again in a heart beat!! Thanks for your sweet comments!

Fit With Flash said...

I'm glad you got to know about this so now I can know about this. Anything bad happening to kids just breaks my heart. I'd be honored to help out.

Jocelyn said...

This is amazing, and you are so right. I'm happy to know that there are places like these for the homeless, and the unprotected to go. A place where they have a voice, and can be taken care of, as well as take care of others.

Thanks for sharing Tracy!

-Jocelyn

Kris said...

What a great cause. Must read more, thanks for sharing!

OceanDreams said...

love your big heart. i've been thinking a lot too. it's so important to get out there and help! xo!

Debbie said...

I love j too! She made me smile all day.....life is about giving to others....maybe something as simple as a smile :) and I received a lot of smiles on and thank you's that day! And I'm the one who is saying thank you!

Debbie said...

I love j too! She made me smile all day.....life is about giving to others....maybe something as simple as a smile :) and I received a lot of smiles and thank you's that day! And I'm the one who is saying thank you!