Wednesday, right before Thanksgiving and I am thankful that we are closing at noon. I am expecting an easy day. I have plans with my honey and that is all I can think of. That is until my first family arrives.
As I enter the lobby, I am surprised to see little ones present. No noise usually means no children. I smile as I see four little visitors. It doesn't take long to decide that my office is too small for so many young guests. Together we venture out and begin to hunt down a larger office. We march down the hall with a purpose. We are on a mission, we seek more room. Finally we conquer new territory and the children seem delighted. We are situated and I begin to ask the parents some questions. They are homeless and desperate to get out of this situation they are in. They speak of their troubles and it doesn’t take long before the children catch my undivided attention. Eventually I stop listening to the parents, as I notice no words have come from these children. I pay close attention as one of the little girls approaches me. She gives me a hug and I tenderly hug her back. I have a document in front of me and I hand her a highlighter so she can draw. She gently looks up at me and all I see is her innocence. My heart instantly hears her without her saying a word. I ask her if she is hungry. She replies, “Yes”. Oh such pain as my heart listens to this uncomfortable truth. She acts like this is normal to her. Hunger seems to be normal to this six year old baby.
This is not normal to me, this will never be normal to me. It should never be normal for any child to be hungry. I cry inside and I want to just take them home with me. I want to take them to Chick-fil-A and feed them everything off of the menu. I want to let them play and be children. I want to remove them from this uncomfortable truth they live in. I want more for them. I want more than this normal they currently live in. This should not be normal for anyone.
The little boy wanders towards me and he reaches for my leg. I sit again paralyzed with pain for these babies. I have four children too and I can’t imagine them hungry. If you know me you know I eat five times a day. Where I am, food is there also. As I now have the attention of all four children, I begin to hand out pop tarts. They are so hungry. I watch and I am witness to those babies taking only two bites to finish their food. What can we do to change this?
I say give me pop tarts, so I can share them. After all it is my Birthday and all I want is pop tarts. Give pop tarts to Snack Pak 4 Kids, Dyron shares them with many hungry children. The office is now a wreck, crumbs of pop tarts everywhere. They depart with a full belly, at least for now. We begin the clean up and it doesn’t take long before it’s all cleaned up. The only evidence that they were even there is the pain I still feel in my heart.
Ten till closing and we are counting down for the Thanksgiving break. A mother walks in and speaks of her daughter’s abuse, softly she tells her daughters story. The daughter still to shaken to speak. They have just left the police station where she explained to the police, how she was beaten by her husband. She tells her story; she explains exactly how she was holding her 10 month old baby during this abuse.
She is also hungry. Lucky for us a wonderful Chick-fil-A angel brought us a fully cooked Thanksgiving dinner. I was given strict instruction, to give this meal to a family in need. I believe I followed through on those instructions.
Today all I want is POP TARTS so give me your POP TARTS!