If you follow me on facebook, personally or through Love-Squared, you have probably heard me talk about 1Matters and Tent City. My first Tent City experience was October, 2011. My husband, eldest son, and I signed up to serve dinner to the un-housed and in-need people of Toledo, OH. What we actually did was meet over 1,000 new and interesting people, listen to their stories, and we got back as much friendship and respect as we gave. The experience was eye-opening, and for me, life-changing. I had started Love-Squared four months before, but after volunteering I threw myself into making sure Love-Squared succeeded.
Today, Kathy, Christie, and I went to Tent City 2015 on behalf of Love-Squared. Thanks to a successful 3,000 square challenge that ran from November, 2014 – May, 2015, we were able to make 100 blankets to take with us along with a few to work on. I honestly thought we had taken too many and would end up leaving with at least half of them. I have mixed feelings about being wrong. On one hand, I am so proud of all of the work and dedication from the Love-Squared volunteers. We set a high goal and we reached it. On the other hand, I am sad to know we took 100 blankets and probably could have used a few more. There were that many kids. At the end, we had one blanket left when 2 children walked up. Our wonderful Kathy had just finished seaming a blanket and Super-Crocheter Christie raced to get the border finished so that one child wasn’t left out. That made 101 blankets given out today. I AM SO PROUD OF OUR TEAM!!!
This post is getting away from me. I always feel a bit overwhelmed, emotional, and reflective after a day like today. I wish you all could have been there to see the faces of the children and their parents at our table today. The very first kids who came over to choose their blanket were so happy they wrapped themselves up and grinned. We had such an amazing and fulfilling day. There were so many smiles and giggles as each child chose a blanket they really loved. You all made that happen. You should all feel happy and full of the joy your squares have brought these kids. I watched babies snuggle into the softness and children, the majority under seven years old, happily fold their blankets to put into bags. It was great to see the kids walking around Tent City with their Love-Squared blankets. The smiles from their parents were just as big and bright. I teared up quite a few times just from pure joy.
As always, I close with a challenge and it’s a big one. My challenge to you all is to keep enough squares coming in that we are able to continue our donations to Family House and Jackson Interfaith Shelter, as well as 100 blankets for the annual Tent City.
It’s a tall order, but I am confident we can do it.