On Thursday – at the last possible minute (sorry Lisa!) I delivered 254 items to Lisa Mentesana at the Beaverton School District’s administrative office.
And a couple of bags.
Filled with all sorts of really cool stuff.
Destined for the 192 unaccompanied youth who are identified as homeless in the Beaverton School District.
“Unaccompanied youth” means no parent or guardian or family member involved in that child’s life.
61 of them are 9th graders.
86 are 10th graders.
80 are 11th graders.
162 are 12th graders.
This first delivery of lovely completed items will go in care packages for each of these kids for Christmas.
Someone asked once why we’re crafting these things in “good” yarn. Why not just junk yarn?
I asked a few people to answer that question for me – since I have a pretty biased point of view on this.
From a 13-year old Cedar Park student: “It will hold up longer. It would be more comfortable and probably be warmer, too.”
From a 17-year-old Sunset student: “What?! Who said that?! Who would say a thing like that?! Hello?!” This student was a little outraged.
The person who posed the initial question felt like it would be wasted on someone who would have no appreciation for the value or effort that went into the finished object.
I could give you a rundown of my reasons why. It would probably turn into a little bit of a rant.
So I’ll answer with this:
Matthew 25:35 – 40
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
I believe with every fiber of my being that if you are I am blessed, you are I am blessed to be a blessing to others.
And I’ll be honest here. I’ve got an 8th grader and an 11th grader here in my house. Like so many – it wouldn’t take much to be counted among the homeless. How can I not give the “good stuff”? Wouldn’t I want the good stuff for my children if they were to be counted among the homeless students of the Beaverton School District?
So how can I stand by and not want – be compelled – to give – maybe even sacrificially – for those who are within arms’ reach?
I gotta tell you one more thing.
Thursday – when I was dropping things off to Lisa – was the first time that it felt like this effort that is the BSD Project was just a little drop in a very big bucket – and I wished desperately there were more that I could do – more that I could offer.
Did you know that I’m starting to get inquiries from other agencies and ministries around town – folks with very legitimate concerns who are trying to get the homeless and needy warmly clothed – who want to know if we have excess. Is there anything we can send their way?, they ask.
It breaks my heart.
The BSD Project has rocked my world in more than a couple of ways.
It has made me consider something that’s been probably really obvious to everyone but me – but needs to be said out loud: “The homeless aren’t going to be going away just because we deliver some lovely hand crafted items.”
It means I can’t stop.
It means I take praying for an end to homelessness seriously.
It means that I’ve got a lot of serious thinking to do about this whole thing and what God is calling me to do about it.