Connecting with Community

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Climb

It was Sunday night. I leave Channel 10's toy giveaway with plans to stop by a  Life Changers home. 
Earlier that day, I received a call from this Life Changer. She kindly asked that I stop by to pick up some donated items.
At the close of this event, I walk out to get in my car. I can feel the weather changing. By the time I reach her home, it is drastically colder and windy. Regardless the harsh weather, I know it isn't going to be a barrier for these Life Changers. I arrive and we begin to load my SUV with goods for our Neighbors.

Monday morning I park my loaded SUV, in front of my office, with the intentions of running in
for a short while. I get out of my SUV and skate to the front door, ever so elegantly.

Once in the front door I shake the cold off. I smile at our gate keeper and she returns the smile.
I reach my desk and it doesn't take long before the first call comes in. It is a young mother of
9. She tells me she is currently living in a shelter, with no hopes of getting a place
of her own. Her monthly income is only $600 a month. I ask how she got our number and she said
another Neighbor shared it with her. 
More calls come in and before I know it, plenty of time has passed. It is 2:00 and my stomach is
telling me it is time for lunch. I dread that it is cold outside and I am not looking forward to waiting in my SUV,
while it warms up. I don't think it is a good idea to leave my SUV running while I wait inside. I convince myself to sit in my SUV and wait patiently while it thaws... it thaws ever so slowly.
I am finally off to my adventure for the day.
My first stop is delivering a tree and ornaments. I feel like Santa.
I arrive and get into the back seat, to arrange the items I will be unloading.
I finish arranging  and as I try to exit I notice my child locks are in place.
I am now trapped in the back seat of my SUV.

A few minutes go by and I spot a truck pulling up beside me, I jester for help.
He merely waves and I do the only thing I can do, I wave back.
My SUV is still on and well at least it's warm. I have moved everything out to the front so it will be easier to unload. I sit and wonder how I will get out of this one.
I begin to clear a path to the front seat. I finally reach the front handle and decide the only way out is to push the door open. I begin to shove
the Christmas tree towards the door. I mange to push it open and the tree is maneuvered out the front door. This will allow enough room for me to escape.
I guess I can now say I was held captive by my SUV, a tree and some ornaments.
I realize how heavy it is when I try to lift it so I can carry it to the front door. No other option but to drag the tree to the door. At this point I am treating it as if it were to
blame for my misshape. By the time it reachs the door it is full of snow and I happily begin to kick it.  I
kick and I kick and I kick, to get the snow off of course.  
I laugh as I write this, the mere thought of me kicking this poor tree.
A man passes by as I am kicking this tree, he doesn't even say hello. Hmm I wonder why?!
If you find yourself frustrated or stressed I recommend the
kicking of a tree. (No tree was injured by this event)
I guess I missed that "How to be a Santa" class. I am certainly not as graceful as what a Santa should probably be. 
I make several trips unloading all of the ornaments and experience some slipping and sliding in the process.
If you are interested in skating, I think I found the perfect parking lot for that.
Finally the tree is out of my hands and no longer in danger of being harmed. I turn it over to recipients and
they are pleased. I bid my farewell as my hunger continues to grow.
Hungry enough to chew my arm off, a clear indication to find the nearest Chick-fil-A.
I have my food in hand, park my SUV and I decide to sit in their parking lot as I eat. Satisfied and thankful, I take in the soft melodies of 
Christmas music as I watch the snow fall ever so gracefully.
Lunch is complete, now it is time to continue my life as a Santa.
I head to deliver the rest of my donated goods.
I arrive at my destination and there is no chimney in sight. I park in front of the house
instead of the roof. As I get out of my SUV I notice a hill, between me and my recipients doorway.
It looks much like a black diamond.
I do not ski so I am now wondering how I will survive this. For all those wondering, I am wearing heels. They are boots but heels none the less.
I make my first trip with no casualties until I reach the front door. I begin to fumble the TV and just then the
8 month pregnant recipient steps out to rescue me.
As I fall into her home I notice how tidy it is. I also notice the small contraption she is using for heat.
I notice cold floors with no rugs. No relief for her cold feet.
As I am headed back out, I happen to glance at the not so fortunate victim whom is trying to make the same climb. She is not so lucky she does not get far up this black diamond before she rolls back down to the bottom. She has no one helping her.
That day, I made several trips up that hill. Each trip was more difficult than the one before.
Each time I would make it close to the door our Neighbor would step out to rescue me.
My journey up that hill is over I got to drive off and head to my nice warm house.
This Neighbor isn't so lucky, she makes that journey up that hill daily.

Thank you Life Changers for making her daily climb easier.
Thank you for stepping out to always help me as I climb. We have a goal and that is to remove barriers that prohibit our Neighbors from attaining
an education.
She dreams of her children graduating.
She dreams of them attending college someday.
She dreams of returning to school herself.
She has hope, that someday her climb won't be as difficult.

After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
Nelson Mandela

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