One day last summer a little girl came into our lives when we parked The Bus at the local hotel on a Friday evening. As we hung out sharing food, clothing, and prayer we were told about this little seven year old that was about to start school for the first time. We were excited for her as we visited with her parents that night. As we talked, they mentioned she did not have any shoes except for her flip flops she was wearing and they were just so concerned because all of their money was going to pay the rent for the hotel. Every single penny. They accepted some groceries we offered them and were happy to have them as they left that evening to go back to their room. I went home and had them on my mind, as did the others I’m sure. Just because we get in The Bus and drive off doesn’t mean we forget.
So the next day we figure we’ll make a little post on a local forum and ask for some gently used size 4 tenny shoes. Sure enough, a lady immediately responds and says not only does she have some size 4s but they are brand new white tenny shoes! So sure enough, we get this little girl some shoes for her first day of school. But wait, that’s not all. Next day we hear from a local party store owner..our only party store actually…he tells us about his middle schooler son who heard about the little girl and wants to purchase her a pair of shoes with his very own money. They ask what kind and what color and we get answers and they go do it. So we meet this father of a sweet son and sure enough, he gives us the shoes for the little girl. They’re lovely little black fancy shoes. So now she has tennys and dress shoes. But that’s not all either, then we get a message from a very sweet spoken lady in the community. She states although she’s moving out of state in days, she would like to help where she can. We find out clothing sizes and this lady makes it her mission to find some clothing. What she comes up with still blows my mind to this day…
So this complete stranger comes into our office one afternoon with a box and it’s the kind lady who wanted to help the little girl. We shake hands and visit and smile and she’s so nice. She shows me some underwear and socks and little pair of mary janes dressy shoes and then she opens the box. Inside, much to our delight, we were greeted with multiple mix and match outfits of the cutest kind! There are little leggings and tops and a skirt and some jeans and so much more. Clothes for the new school career for a little girl living in a hotel with nothing on her feet but flip flops. Tears were shared that afternoon in the Metro Relief office. But best of all, this dear sweet woman had made pictures of each outfit, then mixed and matched the outfits and took more pictures, then mixed and matched them one more time and took pictures of that set. She put all of these little pictures in a photo album and then I found her letter. It was to the little girl and it spoke of God, and his path, and of the lady’s love for the little girl, of the hopes and prayers she had for the little girl and her first year at school. It was the dearest note in the whole wide world. The lady left but her love stayed behind and we were going to make sure it got to the little girl. And it did. She loved the clothes and her parents got tears and so did we but the little girl laughed and skipped and loved the little photo album with the dear, sweet letter.
They say she is doing so well at school and that she loves the outfits and she still wears them, I saw her two Fridays ago and she had a top I recognized on. She was smiling and full of mischief. Her parents are just so so. Dad of course is working as many hours as possible but mom has just spent 10 days in the hospital for her MS and a couple of other issues but she was back at the hotel last I saw when we went with food and clothing recently. They came and visited and hugged and smiled. Was nice to see them. They are worried about losing their car because they might not be able to do rent and the car payment. I told them just do the best they can. That’s all any of us can do. That and pray and be thankful for all of the angels that come in and out of our lives as we walk our paths in life. ~ Shannon