“It’s hard to be homeless”

There are some awesome little kids at my son’s school.


A brother and sister decided that for one day, they would provide a busy downtown homeless mission with their bag lunches.   200 lunches.  They asked the school for help.


The school responded.  180 students brought in enough peanut butter, bread, juice boxes, socks, oranges, candy canes, and brown bags for 200 people.  Actually, they brought in enough for about 350 people. 


The whole school pitched in.  Some kids made sandwiches, others packed the lunches.  And the kindergarten kids, of which my son is one, decorated the brown paper bags.


“I drew a reindeer, and some milk and cookies for Santa.  But I’m not sure the guy who eats the lunch is gonna know that.  The cookies looked a little weird.”


Secretly, I was a little skeptical.  Yeah right, like people who are sleeping in sub zero temperatures and starving are going to give a crap about some kids’ crooked drawings on a paper bag.  Sounded like a token effort to make the kindergarten kids feel important.


Then, I read a newspaper article on the project.  Specifically, this part:

” ‘I’m going to choke up,’ said Shirley Boyechko as she examined the hand-drawn reindeer on her bag. ‘I think this is beautiful.’

Boyechko, 49, became homeless eight months ago shortly after moving to Edmonton from Winnipeg.

While working for a courier here, she fractured both ankles in separate accidents and had to go on welfare while she recovers.

‘It’s hard to be homeless,’ she says.”


I bawled.


I have always taken for granted that some little person will bring me drawings.  Scribblings for my fridge door. 


Not anymore.

17 responses to ““It’s hard to be homeless”

  1. I find it so much more satisfying and adorable when a child draws a picture than when they sing.

    And yeah, my eyes are getting a little dewey.

  2. Sometimes it is hard to remember that everyone was somebody’s baby once. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. There but for the grace of.

  4. Now I’m bawling.

  5. This was very sweet and touching. We do take for granted the little things- like a drawing from a child and a fridge to hang it on.

    Thank you for this.

  6. In all honestly it probably WAS a token effort on the school’s part to make the kids feel important, but that doesn’t keep it from BEING important. What a great project, I’m glad the school joined in.

  7. mongoliangirl: You’re welcome.

    Rassles: The old man and I were just having a discussion the other night about how no child should sing. It’s annoying after 10 seconds, no matter how good the kid is.

    derfina: So true. I have high hopes for my kids, but you never know.

    Xbox: Absolutely.

    gina: Nearly 2 days later, I still tear up everytime I think about it. So you’re in good company.

    mtnlover: Thanks. I needed the reminder, too.

    Meagan: Welcome! And I am so damn proud of that school; they are constantly doing amazing things.

  8. Thats a great story for the Holidays. What a great effort by your school and community.

  9. Do not cry at my desk. Do not cry at my desk. Do not cry at my desk.

    Ah, man. There it goes.

  10. Oh God, I BAWL at these stories! But very sweet.

    I had a client here at the office who was ordering catering out the wazoo (until his head office called us and said “ummm, what?!?”) And there would be so much in the way of leftovers! So I called up a soup kitchen and they came and picked up a bunch of stuff. All’s well that ends well I figured. And then I got a letter from them thanking me for the donation and assuring me that our company would be in their prayers – we even got a really beautiful card with a gold angel decoration last week. I was so touched, I’ve got the letter pinned to my bulletin board above my desk. So now I look up and see “We’re busy, oh so busy! Order this! Arrange that! Go here! Be there! But remember – you’re also awesome!” It’s pretty rad.

    Make sure you keep a copy of that article so that when you’re little one gets older he can pin it to his bulletin board! (Or dashboard or mixing console or firetruck or whatever 😉 )

  11. That’s so sweet. Of your son. It makes you wonder what else we take for granted.

  12. Vinomom: Thanks. My son asked why I was crying. I told him what the woman in the article said. He said, “Oh. Then I guess it’s OK if you cry.”

    Beej: Sorry 🙂

    Em: Good on you! You deserve the kudos. (And thanks for keeping my kid’s options open – mixing console – hmm…)

    faemom: I know; I’m trying even harder to reexamine the stuff I assume will always be there.

  13. While it’s not considered trucker-tough to sit here sniffling, I’m gonna forgive you for making me look like a big old wussy cause that was a great post. Thanks.

  14. Sorry if I ruined your trucker cred, hedon. Can you say exhaust got in your eyes?

  15. A neighbor of ours died recently. He didn’t get out much in his final months, but did take a moment to answer the door when my youngest daughter came by selling goodies for the girl scouts. He smiled, chatted her up for a bit, then bought a tub of chocolate covered peanuts.

    At the viewing, his wife mentioned that she was one of the last people to make him smile.

    Kids are amazing . . .

  16. Totally it was the exhaust fumes.

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