“AAsher’s 12 days of birthday gifts” – Day 8 – Homeless

STORYBOARD TEMPLATE - SQUARE-DAY 8 - HOMELESS

Day 8 of “AAsher’s 12 days of birthday gifts”!! CAN YOU BELIEVE WE ARE ALREADY ON DAY 8!?!?!?! Our little guy is almost 4 YEARS OLD!!!!!!

Oh day 8, how I knew that you were coming and I tried so hard to prepare myself mentally, but as usual, my heart took over!! It didn’t help that it’s really cold here in Texas right now and the thought
of people having no place to live, well, that’s just horrible  Yep, you guessed it. Today we drove downtown to the heart of Houston to give gifts to the homeless…………..

AAsher’s wagon was filled with fuzzy, red blankets (he picked them out) and blessing bags! His blessing bags were gallon ziploc bags filled with: deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, razors, shaving cream, soap, baby wipes, fruit snacks, packs of peanut butter crackers, granola bars, McDonald’s gift cards and LOTS OF LOVE!!

We drove around in search of people that were all alone, or at least not more than 3, since we only had three sets of gifts to give. Do you know how hard that is? It’s so sad that there are SOOOO
MANY…..my heart just wants to take them all home 

The first person that we found was curled up in a ball under the interstate. We couldn’t see at the time whether it was a lady or a man. All we could see were the shoes sticking out. Crocs…You know those rubbery slipper shoe things with all the holes in the tops…that’s what was sticking out. Except for these crocs, the front of the one shoe was missing and the dirty sock was poking through. I couldn’t find a place to pull over, so I had to go back down the interstate, do a U-turn and then go back. I was in the process of parking when we realized that SHE had gotten up and was coming our way. (thank goodness, because crossing 4 lanes of traffic to get to the underside of the interstate…… not my idea of a good time with a toddler!) We waited there in the parking lot for her to come across and I could already feel my “strong front” breaking down. AAsher was like a horse at the starting gate, there was no holding him back! He took off across the lot towards her, waving his little blue card. He gave her his gifts, grabbed his little wagon and was just about to leave, when all of a sudden he ran back and kissed her leg. The only words that she spoke during the whole exchange were “my sweet little baby” “thank you”…… I didn’t see if she had tears in her eyes (due to mine being filled), but as she walked away, I saw her wipe her eyes when she looked back at us.

Oh my heart…..how do I just drive away………..

Back in the truck we go and it’s starting to get dark……. I knew that if I drove down around the bus station, that I would have no problem finding homeless people… the problem is finding one or two, not 50. As I was driving, we noticed a man pushing a shopping cart and no kidding, it looked like the Beverly Hillbillies truck! How it all stayed that high in the air was unbelievable! I had to make 4 u-turns and go down 6 ONE WAY streets to get over to the area where he was walking. Of course, I broke about 15 laws, but I made it!!! I had to park a block away (Houston streets….love them…not). By this time, it’s getting REALLY dark. I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty darned scary down there at night time!! With the kids no doubt! But, with faith that we would be okay, we started on our walk. Now, what happened next, I still can not even explain!!! We were walking down the sidewalk and the man that we were going to find, was on the opposite block from us and had his back turned. I could see through the weeds of the overgrown lot that was between us, that he had a camp of sorts in there. There was NO WAY he saw us coming from where I parked and there was NO WAY that he could have known that we were walking to see him!!! HE HAD HIS BACK TURNED!! BUT SOMEHOW HE *DID* KNOW!!! As we were walking, of course I was watching him and trying to take pictures of his “camp” and that crazy shopping cart, but then suddenly, he stands up with two things in his hand and comes straight to AAsher. He says “there you are little buddy” and he hands AAsher a little kid sized backpack with CARS (the movie)
picture on it and a little tiny photo album!!!!!!! WHAT IN THE HECK JUST HAPPENED???????? I’m telling you, it was the craziest thing ever!!!! It’s like he KNEW that AAsher was coming!!!!!! C-R-A-Z-Y!!!!
AAsher gave him the blanket and the blessing bag and they just for a few seconds, just looked at each other. I don’t even know how to put it into words!! I can tell you without a doubt, that THAT MOMENT, THAT ENCOUNTER…… WAS TOTALLY MEANT TO BE!! I had to look back at the pictures on my camera when we got back into the truck to make sure that HE WAS EVEN REAL!! Brian and I just looked at each other and neither of us had words!

My next stop just happened to be directly across the street and 2 blocks over. The Catholic church! The only reason we could even see that there was someone there was because of the street lights. IT WAS TOTALLY DARK by now! We could see a heap of stuff and what looked like a person balled up in the corner. So, we proceeded up the steps of the church to find TWO people! Two very nice men who were balled up from the cold and very, very appreciative of the gifts. I’m hoping that since they were together, that they wouldn’t mind sharing the gifts….. I’m hopeful. They must have told AAsher “thank you” and “happy birthday” 100 times! AAsher was so happy and clapping. It was so cute!

Day 8 was a TOTAL success!!!

WHAT A DAY!!! WHAT A GREAT DAY!!

((HUGS))
Kerri – AKA “AAsher’s mommy”

Only 4 days to go…………….

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