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The Wisdom of Youth

Working with families who are homeless or precariously housed is a privilege and a gift. To provide hospitality through hosting in churches or now supporting families as they shelter in place in a temporary house gives an opportunity to give love and offer hope to families in their time of crisis.

Our church coordinators work to put together what we think families will like while also following suggestions and guidelines of the Family Promise organization. We want to do the best we can with our resources, the greatest of which is all the many people we have willing to serve.

I’d like to tell you a story about the wisdom of one of our volunteers. His name is Will and he is newly four years old. When Will’s mom saw our sign-up genius for December and all we would like to give the families, likely she was overwhelmed. There is money for grocery gift cards, frozen breakfast casseroles for Christmas morning, casseroles for dinners, notes of encouragement for each family, fruit, cookies, cinnamon rolls, hot cocoa, stockings, and the goodies to go in them. Thirty stockings to be exact.

Because of Will’s mom’s generosity and her spirit, she decided she would get all 30 of the stockings to donate. When she went shopping to purchase the stockings, she took Will along to help so he could witness the spirit of giving in this season.

While discussing who the stockings were meant for, children and their parents who do not have a home to live in, with the innocent and wisdom of a four year old, Will asked a simple question. “Couldn’t we just buy a house for all the families that don’t have one?” In relaying this conversation his mom said with the greatest of sincerity “I wish.”

It is our wish and our dream at Family Promise to get every single family housed. Like Will, we want for others to have what we have for ourselves: the stability of a roof over our heads, a warm place to sleep at night, a place we can call home.

Mary Kaczor, December 2021