Yesterday Gregory Swift chauffeured me down to Westchester to Hillsdale Elementary School to deliver some fabric and old blankets to a group of 29 third graders known as the “Win” group. It was an hour down there and about an hour and a half back (rush hour) in the TKJ-mobile. I can’t be trusted to drive that far since my strokes, and it was nice to have company. We met in the story pit in the library with the librarian and the teacher support person, Amy Thomas, who had contacted me. Mrs. Thomas had helped make Ugly Quilts when she worked at a different school in the Poconos in 1996. She contacted My Brother’s Keeper, which is the group she had worked with then and the inventors of this project, to see if they were still doing it and how would they be distributed. They referred her to us.
She asked me if I would speak to the children about what we do and a little about homelessness. I told Greg that I was a little nervous about it, because I usually scare children when I talk about such things. The teachers kept things under good control. I answered a few questions. By the time we were done, the students had invented another worthy project: making drawstring backpacks for us to give to the people. It was good to see such a group of bright young people, eager to help those in need.
Please pray for Karen Kaufmann, Vincent’s mom. She was in a car accident this morning. She was rear-ended while stopped at a light on 663. She was hit by a man in an SUV, who was fussing with his dog, going almost 50 mph. Her car is totaled. She is pretty banged up and sore. The ER did scans, released her, and told her to get a neck brace.
The man who hit her is very sorry and wants to do everything to make this right. Thank God, he has good insurance.
Both Karen and Vincent are volunteers and supporters of this ministry.
We are now serving two or three Tuesday evenings each month, in addition to every Thursday evening. This means we need to buy more cups, more iced tea, more fuel for the TKJ-mobile, more hot sauce, etc. We are also helping several guys who have moved off of the street gather things that they need with some furniture, dishes, etc., and Operation: Clean Start. Giving is down. I think people are operating under the false assumption that this is a budget supported ministry of St. Philip’s. It is not. We are supported only through designated offerings or direct donations. Normally it is subsidized by “Come and See” Icons, Books & Art. Since I was sick much of last year, the business has suffered, and is operating at a loss. Even so, we expanded the ministry. Why?
It is needed now more than ever.
Volunteers came forward to make soup every other Tuesday.
This ministry is the one thing in my life that I am sure I am supposed to be doing.
Lately, with health issues and various conflicts, and having just enough money to get home on fumes only because I haven’t paid the mortgage yet, some days I have been so discouraged that I felt like quitting even this. Then I had a night like I did on Thursday. We had enough blankets and Ugly Quilts for everyone who wanted them. Morris discussed Isaiah 5:8 with me. Tom was sober. Anthony had a good report from his computer class at Phila. Community College. There a were lot of “thank you”s and “praise God”s.
Those of you who support this ministry with your prayers, your sandwiches and your money should have a tear of joy in your eye about now. Thank you! Praise God for you. We need more like you.
Please use the “Donate” button to make a donation via Paypal now, while you are thinking about it.
The First Ugly Quilts have been completed and are ready to give away. They are really beautiful! They were made with all scavenged, no cost material. The lady who made them saved time by using old mattress pads for filler, thus eliminating the need for knotting them. We hope this picture inspires many more of these to be made.