Two years ago I was looking for ideas for service projects for my Girl Scout troop. A friend happened to suggest we contact an organization called Safe Place in Everett, Washington. Safe Place provides a soft place to land for kids who are found to be living in unhealthy and/or unsafe conditions and who are waiting to enter foster care. Many times the kids come in sick, filthy, hungry, under-clothed, abused, traumatized and scared. The staff at Safe Place ensure the kids are cleaned up and receive medical care, clean clothes, warm meals, and a place to sleep. Volunteer shifts are often overnight and can last days so that the kids aren’t separated from adults with whom they have bonded. On top of that, they provide after school care and activities for many underprivileged kids in the area. I follow Safe Place on Facebook and their posts are so moving. I decided this one deserved reposting:
This was beautifully written the other day by one of our faithful volunteers, Sharon:
“I am so weary of the anger in our country right now with so many current events circulating on social media that contain only partial truths, and I wonder if there is any hope for our country. But then I go to Safe Place last night for my bi weekly volunteer shift with foster kids and I do realize there is so much good in the world. Every Thursday night, leaders come in and invite 40 or so kids from Casino Road to come to Hand in Hand’s campus for dinner, games, homework help, and a Bible story. Different church groups or other community groups volunteer to make dinner for these kids each week. Last night, it was a family providing dinner, a family who just wanted to make a small difference during the holidays, by purchasing, preparing, and serving these kids (and Safe Place) dinner. I stepped into the office for a moment as this kids’ ministries group was ending, and I heard the leaders talking to the kids about a field trip to the Nutcracker next week that Hand in Hand is sponsoring. “Show up at 8:30 am to ride the bus. If you want donuts for breakfast, come at 8.” A free trip, a free small breakfast, to give these kids, some of the poorest kids in Snohomish County, a chance to see a show they might not otherwise ever see, a chance to have a good time with friends, to laugh and dream, and hopefully help them set high goals for their futures. I meet a social worker who brings us another boy to care for, one of so many sad stories we see at Safe Place, but these social workers keep doing this because of the desire they see for these kids to be safe. I see volunteers with me at Safe Place, sitting with the kids still awake likely long after I leave at 11 pm, sacrificing their own sleep, trying to calm these kids enough that they can finally go to sleep. In 6 short hours, I see so many people donating their time and money to make a difference, and I see there is a lot hope for our country. Yes, I can come back to social media and see the anger again. But I choose tonight to focus on the hope.”
All of us at Hand in Hand want to thank all of you, for your amazing outpouring of time, donations and love during this Christmas season! You have truly made a way for so many to be blessed!