USA: Arizona Int'l Women's Day '16
Seeing the Light in Others
RHIA CLEMENTE NKULU
MARCH 31, 2016
Arizona: International Women's Day
The WFWP Arizona Chapter celebrated International Women's Day by taking some purses filled with essentials that we had collected, and sharing them with women in a shelter in Phoenix. I went together with my daughters and Miss Naye Olvera, the Spanish radio talk show host of the program "Entre Mujeres." We gave several bags to the Andre House of Hospitality and promised to volunteer serving meals to their recipients the next time we come.
It was shocking and heartbreaking to see the extent of homelessness right in the middle of downtown Phoenix. Seeing men and women resting on the bare ground, some women were fighting, others walked aimlessly around. It looked like a refugee camp in the heart of America.
One experience that moved me was when we talked closely to one of the homeless woman who received a bag. I hugged her and held her hand as I encouraged her and let her know how important and loved she is by a person she doesn't even know, and her eyes got teary.
My children, who were with me, were moved as well; and when I asked them what they learned from this experience, they both answered, "Never take things for granted." Their hearts were touched and moved and through the experience, they became more willing to help in the future. We all left the place resolving to do all we can for others, no matter how small, to make this world a better place for everyone.
On another day, as we were on our way to Maggie's Place, I saw a homeless lady asking for help on a corner. While we were waiting at the stoplight, I stopped and gave her one of these bags. She was so surprised at receiving a bag full of useful things. She tearfully shook my hands and was so grateful. What a great feeling it was, to be a channel of peace and love to someone who really needed it.
The way I see it, all of those generous women who donated their bags became God's instrument of love and care to those less fortunate and in need!
As Elsie Delgado, our chapter member says "Anyone can do something for others!"
Finally, it was a great experience for our children to discover firsthand the situation of homeless people, and to find out what had led them to be in that situation. Most of them had become homeless because of medical and health-related issues, coupled with the lack of support from their families. As we drove home, we shared with our children the value of family support. We determined that no matter what happens, we cannot let our family members be alone on the streets with no help.