Life-Giving Times to People Experiencing Homelessness and Light Patrol Staff
Story shared by Paula Castrucci, Ministry Support Worker
This Thanksgiving, my team (YU's Light Patrol) and I had the opportunity to provide this experience for 11 of our youth, and it was more beautiful and more life-giving than I could have ever imagined.
We put up flyers and knocked on every single door in the hotel where they've been staying during the pandemic. We collected food from our generous volunteers and cooked what we were lacking. We set the table and decorated the room with as much heart as we would have in our own homes, and our hearts overflowed with gratitude as we did so.
It's such a privilege for us to partner with Covenant House, the YMCA and Native Child and Family Services by running an outreach program every Thursday. It's an honour to journey with our youth, to listen to their stories and share ours, and offer support where needed. Sometimes, this looks like taking them grocery shopping or out for a meal. Other times it means providing a day-trip to Centre Island to escape the city and/or their reality, or a paint night to do the same. And sometimes, just sometimes, it looks like sharing the holidays with those who would otherwise be alone during such times.
Red tablecloths and yellow napkins. Orange flowers and colourful leaves. A bountiful spread of turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and cupcakes. You'd think we were preparing for a
group of VIPS that night. And we were.
"...remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: It is more blessed to give than to receive." Bible passage from the book of Acts.
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