I wanted to do something for the homeless this season. So many people are homeless and really need help, especially in these cold, cold months.
The Road Home is a private non-profit social service agency that assists individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Salt Lake County and along the Wasatch Front. Our mission is to help people step out of homelessness and back into our community.
Originally established in 1923 to assist stranded travelers, the Road Home has grown to address a spectrum of needs that people experiencing homelessness encounter as they work to restore their lives. In addition to operating the largest shelter in Utah, the Road Home has developed a comprehensive housing program that helps people move into housing as quickly as possible.
I looked on line to see what kind of supplies they accepted, and I found out that they really take ANYTHING except for furniture. They are especially in need of common items like socks, clothing, sleeping bags, blankets, shoes, and personal hygiene products.
For Family Home Evening one night, I told the kids about my goal to provide some warm things for the homeless, and they jumped right on board. While I looked for blankets and coats, the kids looked through their toys, stuffed animals, and books for things they could give. I was most surprised by John, my youngest. He was VERY generous in his giving. He brought book after book and stuffed animal after stuffed animal. Even some books I didn’t think we should give away, he said, “No, Mom, I want those kids to have this book. I don’t read it anymore.” They gathered three big bags of stuff they wanted to give to those kids. When we added the blankets, towels, and coats, and pillows, our donations filled the back of my car.
Originally I wanted the kids to go with me to donate this stuff, but there just wasn’t a good time. I ended up taking everything up to the road home before a rehearsal, when I was going downtown anyway. It was quick and easy. I just pulled in and someone came out and helped me unload. Kind of like when you drop off donations to Deseret Industries. The lady there thanked me and said that they would use ALL of these items. As I drove away, I saw the people lined up at the door of the shelter. The people who were there for a hot meal, or some warm clothes.
It was 12 degrees when I drove my kids to school this morning. Twelve. I cannot imagine how in the world people can survive when they have no place to go at night. When life has not worked out the way they wanted and they end up homeless. I hope that they can find shelter and a warm place to sleep, and I hope that our coats and blankets help to warm them, and that the toys and clothes the kids gave also help to make some child happy.
If you would like to do something to help others stay warm, and also warm your own heart, you might also like to donate to the Road Home,or a homeless shelter in your area.