Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Gift of Warmth

Every year, the senior class does a Midnight Run to NYC.  They collect jackets, clothes, blankets, toiletries and other items from the St. Luke's community.  Camille DeMarco-Havens, whose warm and loving personality embraces us all on a daily basis, runs this program with heart and passion.

My husband went through his clothes and donated many pants and shirts, many of them with the tags still on them.

I went to my linen closet and pulled out an abundance of blankets.  Like my younger daughter, I develop an attachment to things.  Each blanket holds a memory.  This one was the first blanket I bought when I was working and started making money.  So and so gave that to me for Christmas when we moved into our first house. That blanket was draped over the rocking chair in my daughters' room when they were babies.

I had a selfish impulse to take my blankets and place them back into the secure confines of my closet as tangible artifacts of my history.

I had another flash ... of people in the here and now, with no homes and little resources, out in the cold, hard rain and sleet we've been enduring here.  I saw my blankets descending gently around their shoulders, spots of cobalt blue, ruby red, and patterned green in an otherwise gray landscape.

I took my blankets, washed and dried them, brought them to school, and placed them in the Midnight Run basket.

I always say that if I had a lot of money, I would give most of it away, knowing how much impact that money would make in people's lives.  But it's worth acknowledging the impact of all acts of generosity, including those small packages which carry the gift of warmth and care for our fellow man.

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