- Family and Parenting
Margie Is Homeless
Please help the homeless
I felt compelled to write this today because you see I cried for hours after meeting Margie last week at my children’s school. Margie is seven years old and is in my daughter’s class and last year she lived in a nice home with her mother, father and brother. In a few months her world turned upside down and now she lives in a van. She is only one of the homeless kids in our surrounding neighborhoods and I don’t know any of the others.
An article came out a while ago saying that our County in California has the most homeless kids in the school system and not a lot of people can tell who they actually are. Some of the families are hiding the fact that they have lost everything and are living in their cars and still sending their kids to school. Another family near a good friend of mine in a very expensive neighborhood are living on a ranch and have rented a spot to park their trailer after they lost their home. They do not have cars and they walk their children a few miles down a steep hill to school every morning. My friend has to sometimes wait until they pass her house because she is afraid that she will have to take on more then she can chew. Afterall, she too had to scale down and sell her house this year when her husband lost some of his work and she has two young children to take care of. They also have two cars but they are not in the position to take care of anyone else. They also live on this ranch with citrus trees that has many acres and other house rentals on the property and they donate whatever they can to people in need.
The other day while I joined my daughter for lunch at school, I noticed Margie sitting all alone at a table in tears and all she had was a juice for lunch. I walked over to her and asked if she was hungry and she said that she felt sick. I then asked one of the ladies that help at lunchtime if she could get lunch at school. One of the woman assured me that she qualified for the government lunch program. When someone sent her to the office to check her temperature I could not help myself from worrying about her. As I headed out of the school I noticed her walking back and she knew me well enough to come over to me. I asked her if she was ok and then she told me that her mother died. I stood still in my tracks because I knew that there was something that had drawn me to her. The way she was dressed and not quite in step with the other girls. Her hair was a mess and she was wearing dirty clothes and I thought of when I lost my mother at the same age many years ago. All the extras that she would have received from her mother were missing. I was fortunate to have my grandmother make up for some of the lost nurturing that I missed when my mother died but Margie had no one else but her father who was struggling to feed his family.
After she told me about her mother I assured her that I understood because I lost my mother too around the same age. When I asked her when it happened she said “When Michael Jackson” died. I was very thrown at this statement because it was so shocking. I could not imagine something so important and life changing being compared to a dead celebrity. I guess this is how powerful the media has become in our daily lives. I don’t even remember anything or anyone that ever took away the intensity of my mothers death? This is a new and scary world when a celebrity can take center stage in a loved ones death.
The reason I am writing this article today is because I’m really worried about the homeless children and families in the Winter and around the holidays this year. I hope by you reading this that you will reach out in some way to a family or organization near your home. If it is happening here in my very nice neighborhood, I can guarantee you it is happening near you too. There is plenty of things that you can do. A lot of them may need blankets or clothing to keep them warm during this Winter. They may need a nice meal or just a friendly helping hand. See if your church knows of someone who may need your help. Also the elderly are getting hit hard too and may need some support if they do not have any family around. Please think about doing something now because once November hits it will get harder for them to keep warm and I live in California!
Please contact any local “help” group and offer to do something. Anything. I’m actually planning on having food available at a local church so that if families are embarrassed about their situation, they can go there. Let us forget about world problems and what Obama is not doing right now and focus on people near our homes and in our own neighborhoods. I have actually already contacted Margie’s father and I’m planning on helping him with the kids. Donating money is fine, but it would be nice to know that you made a difference in your own neighborhood. It may be someone who you know. It could be anyone.