Well, all has been quiet on my blog for the two last weeks or so but thats because I have been so swamped!
Our Backpack drive was a huge success. We helped 200+ kids get the supplies they needed for the school year. I am meeting the parent facilitator from the school board in the morning to hand over our remaining supplies. She works with families through out the year and assists as needed with things like supplies so I know she will put them to good use.
I do have to tell you that I delivered 4 backpacks to one family. They didnt come to our party where we distributed the bags and they had no phone number that we could locate. I'm still not quite sure they had electricity but I know they had no vehicle. Our town is small and public transit is very limited. The mother was very thankful that I delivered the bags and asked if there was anyone assisting with shoes. I looked over at her little girls and almost cried. All of the kids were barefoot (we have had a lot of rain and the front drive had mud so thick they met me on the road) and the youngest girl was wearing pants so large that they were held up with rubberbands through her belt loops. I looked over at the house again and thats when I really began to question the living conditions. Visualize a trailor park that people live in when they are one step from homelessness and you have this place. The mobile homes are so old that they are litterally decomposing.
If it were possible, I would have taken these kids home with me. I told the mother that I would see what I could find for her. I called my church and they had some clothes left over from a recent clothing drive. The childrens minister invited me to look through them, which I found a few things including a jacket for each of them. We dont have much of a winter in Florida, but we do get some chilly weather and I am positive that this home has no central heat. When I got back to work, another person contacted me and gave me a $50 Walmart gift card. She asked me to put it toward shoes for the kids and to let her know the difference and she would reimburse me. I went to Walmart and they had sneakers on sale for $10. In every size they needed. God is so good! Sunday afternoon I got a call from the church that they had received a donation as well! Since the kids were already taken care of they were going to use it for another family. So now 2 families will be able to be helped with shoes!
Now comes my moral dilema! I know that the condition these kids are in is substandard. They deserve better than this, but I dont know that calling children and families is any real solution. My fear is that the family may be torn apart and is that really any better? I'm not sure. Our dept of children and families is run through the sherriffs dept. They looked fed, and the mom was obviously trying to take care of them so I dont know what to do. I keep thinking about them and wondering how I can help? This is why I could never be a social worker! I would never sleep for worrying about the kids!
Wow...I wrote a book! I need to finish my work before 5pm so I will be back later to post my other news!!