I doubt we could have found more beautiful or meaningful Valentine's day gifts if we had shopped at an upscale boutique.
During the event, Elliot walked to each booth pretty much on his own, talking with the artists and visiting with a little boy he met during one of his visits to Tent City. The boy's parents are volunteers with Street Watch and were instrumental in making that visit a positive and memorable learning experience for both of us.
While in line to purchase our beautiful gifts, I had the pleasure of being reunited with one of my library co-workers (a spectacular children's librarian), who was delighted to see our family and learn about Elliot's project. In addition to seeing my old friend again, I also was shocked to see a young Vietnamese woman whom I also knew from my Glenwood Library days. I was shocked because she was one of the artists at the event. I couldn't wrap my head around the idea that this was now her condition to be experiencing homelessness. I do not remember her name, and I don't think she remembered me. Please pray for this young woman who has a wonderful talent for creating complex origami, and who shares her knowledge with children at the library.
I always come away from these events in our community with a feeling of tenderness for people; for the people who are having a tough time in life, and also for the care giving people who dedicate their lives to uplifting, to supporting, to befriending, to loving people no matter their circumstances.
This Valentine's day means so much more than romantic sentiments. It is a call to love, a call to friendship and kindness, a call for peace and generosity.