December completed the first year of LaundryLove HB and onboard to help us celebrate were the wonderful women of St. Wilfrid's preschool who prepared a Christmas feast for the masses. Director Debbie Pratt along with the staff and parents of the preschool prepared an abundance of food; turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetables, bread, and sweets to fill many hungry tummies. What a delight! "This is wonderful! Thank you so much! God bless you!" These sentiments filled the air as people dined and did laundry. Thank you to all of you who helped with the food preparation. So much work spread so much joy.
As the air grows colder, the need for some people becomes more acute. We get to see many familiar faces every month and it's wonderful to be able to help in this small way, though it never seems like quite enough. I wonder what happens to some of the more desperate people we have seen over time. Last winter, during the coldest months, a woman of 60 came twice to do laundry. She lived in a mini van, packed full of belongings. To sleep at night, she would wedge herself in the driver's seat and cover herself completely. She had significant health problems. I often thought of how vulnerable she was, curled up in that small space, sleeping in the places where people tolerate those sleeping in their cars. She hasn't been back since February. She was hoping to get treatment for a medical condition. I just wonder if it ever happened. The last time I saw her, she held a freshly laundered blanket to her face and thanked us profusely for helping her with laundry. I wonder if she's well. I wonder if she's warm as I pull my comforter up to my chin at night and listen to the purr of the furnace.
The lines loop around the entries of theaters this season to see the musical Les Miserables. Few people leave unmoved. It's a film about how kindness and love can transform. It's a story about invisible people. Today, there are still invisible people.
Next month we will meet on January 9 on the corner of Beach and Garfield near the Honey Baked Hams. Come down. Meet us. Meet our friends. Make new friends. Help. You never know when a life will be transformed because in a moment of despair, a hand reached out and offered help, a small kindness, a small bit of hope. We would love to see you. Or you can drop a few pence in the kitty by using the "donate" button on this page.