Please Mr. President
NEW YORK CITY, NOVEMBER 15, 2009 – Prince George Ballroom
The energy in the room was palpable. 10:54 a.m. and over 200 hundred volunteers were waiting anxiously for our kids to arrive. When the children started coming through the doors, we would give each bus load a standing ovation as if they had just won an Oscar. We began writing letters and some of our writing volunteers were tearing up as they began hearing stories of children living in squalor, cutting themselves, not wanting to be on this earth another day.
Then there were the letters of joy…the joy of finally having a roof over their heads, even if it was a shelter. They painted pictures, made jewelry, danced with abandon, ate all day, had their pictures taken with celebrities, and laughed uproariously. We laughed all day.
Some older kids came in with a chip on their shoulders; their eyes having seen entirely too much for their short lives. They were angry and reluctant. They hated being homeless, living in a shelter. I told them to go get some pizza and then paint a t-shirt for a child in the Congo. A child who didn't have the luxury of living in a shelter, a child who may not eat today or tomorrow, who may not live through the week. You could see these lost children change their perspective in a matter of hours. They began to take pride and have fun. They began to feel like children again.
Our job was done!
To top it off, Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared it Children Mending Hearts Day in New York City! That was an amazing honor to receive.