Last year I had the privilege of helping Lil Mindy and her family at Christmas. It was a joy to know that someone so far away from where I live would have a joyful Christmas because three of us – Irma, Sally, and I – came together in the spirit of giving that is at the heart of Christmas. This year, I wanted to help someone closer to home, someone in my own community. So, I have chosen to make a donation in your honour to Vancouver's branch of Covenant House.
Covenant House helps youth who have found themselves living on the streets. With no judgement or blame, Covenant House offers these young people a helping hand. That hand might hold a sandwich which feeds someone who has not had any food to eat that day; that hand might hold a blanket to keep them warm as winter's cold begins to set in; that hand might hold some much needed medicine for a youth who has become ill by living on the streets. Most important of all, that hand holds out hope that they have not been abandoned by society.
When a youth reaches out and takes the hand offered, Covenant Street provides an array of services that get the youth off the street and back on track in their lives. In most cases, these youths need medical care, housing, counselling, education, and even clean clothes. What they need most, however, is what Covenant House offers in abundance: a safe haven away from the trauma of the lives that led them to live on the streets in the first place.
Safe havens cost money to maintain and Covenant House is constantly in need of financial support. It was with the spirit of Christmas firmly in my heart that I made a donation to them in your honour. I know that they will use the money well and pray that it helps even one youth to get off the streets for good.
Merry Christmas Melinda! 2008 has been quite a year for you and may 2009 bring even more blessings, joy and happiness to you (and a Grammy too!).