All posts tagged: #homelessness

Mary’s Socks – World Changer Wednesday

Last October we featured World Changer, Mary Reczek. She’s a little girl in Wheaton, Illinois who set a goal to collect 800 socks for SOCKTOBER. But she received 1370(!), and with plenty of October left to go, she upped her goal to 2000(!). Last year Mary received 2635 pairs of socks for Chicago’s homeless! After that, Mary, and her brothers, Charlie, and Sam, went with World Changer Warrior Gayle Bloink several times into the city to feed, clothe, and pray with the homeless there.  The socks lasted almost an entire year. Because they had so many socks generously donated  last year, they were able to always have socks with them when they brought food on Saturdays. The socks were almost more important than the food!  So many homeless friends have come to hope for socks each week. It is difficult to turn them away.  Mary hated when she would run out on any given week. So for Mary’s birthday this year she would like to collect **3000 pairs of socks** for Chicago’s homeless by 10/31/16. (Here is …

The Luggage

One hot summer day, after swimming lessons and before an afternoon at the Art Institute of Chicago, we went to our homeless shelter. The parking lot was packed. I was wearing a short black dress, had my makeup, nails, and hair done. My kids were in clean clothes with hair still wet from the pool. We parked our shiny new minivan, looked around, and pulled out 7 suitcases. I strapped the hanging bags on my shoulders and carried two smaller ones, the big kids pushed two giant rollies, Greta dragged a bag. We lugged them across the soft asphalt and got in line at the front door. I took a deep breath in the hot sun. I whispered to the kids, “Be kind. Be polite. Do not touch each other or fight. Smile at everyone.” They looked around, a little scared. An old guy with a dirty shirt and beard blocked the doorway with his big belly. Two little girls with black pigtails and turquoise shorts giggled under a tree. Lots of tall skinny guys in undershirts …

UPDATE – World Changer Wednesday – Mary

Last week we met World Changer, Mary Rezcek. (To read that post click here) Here is a little morning message from her to brighten your day. Please watch it. https://youtu.be/SIbdCotDWbw Mary was hoping to collect 800 pairs of socks to give to the homeless in Chicago this winter. So far, she has received 1370 pairs of socks! ***** Now she is hoping for 2000 by 10/31/15! Only 630 more pairs ***** I love it! In the video Mary refers to her friend Sparkles. Here is a picture of them. They met the very first night Mary went downtown when she was 5 years old. It’s not hard for Mary to be a World Changer because she isn’t thinking about facts and numbers. She is remembering real people that she actually talks to. She is thinking about their cold, wet feet. She loves them because she knows them. Mary and her friends are writing notes to go in each pair of socks. They aren’t just going to drive by and toss them out the window. They are going to hand …

World Changer Wednesday – Mary

Do you let your kids talk to strangers? When you see a homeless person do you avoid eye contact and tug at your kids’ sleeves to keep walking? Does the big city scare you? My friend Gabi is a World Changer. She has practical ideas, strong opinions and a big heart. Helping other people is a simple, common sense idea to her, and she’s desperate for The Church to cut the crap and get to work. She and I are Stubborn Soul Sisters in this regard. I really do want my kids to be World Changers, but sometimes I chicken out. Our family’s Compassion Focus last year was Homelessness. We focused on our county, town, and school, but we never made it to downtown Chicago. We learned many new things, but we did not learn how to befriend a homeless person on the street. Gabi’s kids have been serving the homeless for a long time. Their daughter Mary started going downtown to love homeless people when she was 5 years old. Look and see what …

Together We Did It! – a 2014 Summary

[This was what I posted on Facebook 12/10/14 at the end of my family’s Family Compassion Focus projects in 2014.  We are always amazed at how exuberantly people join in our kids’ world changing ideas.] None of us are surprised, right? *** $2162.00 *** Thank you so much. That is more than FOUR TIMES Greta’s goal of raising $500 to Help the Homeless through (another) craft sale. Makes me teary. God is good. Greta is beaming and singing. So many shiny, happy people donating with joy. We are giddy and humbled and tired. After school today we: – Dropped off a check and birdy ornament to DuPage Pads. $1000 total will be given to them for their comprehensive work with the homeless in our town and county. You made that happen.             – Shopped as a family on Amazon to purchase $500 worth of sheets, blankets, flatware, toothbrushes, maxi pads, pots and pans, a toilet brush (Caleb thought this was a great gift), tissues, oil, rice, and a fan for …

Our Story – How the Family Compassion Focus was Born

[This story was first published on the Reconciled World blog on 12/11/14.] Christmas wasn’t supposed to be terrible. My husband, Chris, slipped his hand around my waist and we smiled, looking at our kids playing with their new toys on top of all the strewn wrapping.   We exhaled and congratulated each other on giving our kids another Christmas to Remember. And then: “You got more presents than me! That’s not fair!” “Your present cost more than mine! That’s not fair!” “I think you should give one of your presents to me! This Is Not Fair!” Our faces went slack. What happened? They knew Jesus was the Reason for the Season. We read the Bible story an hour ago. We had more Nativities than Santas. Where did this ugly entitlement come from? How did our kids miss the point of Christmas? He muttered to me, “This is awful. It can’t be like this next year.” We broke up the fights, assembled some toys and rallied our way toward Christmas cheer. I then remembered seeing a book …