The seasons are changing from summer to fall. Fall, which is full of football, frost and family. As we focus on our friends and neighbors, I have an experience, about this time of year, that I’ll like to share with you.
A local church has a clothing give away prior to school starting. It has become an annual tradition with them. The clothes must be good, as some camp out the night before to be first in line. The real story of what went on was the people. Let me share a few of those, I have gathered, with you.
A little girl, after looking at the shoes available, exclaimed, “Oh mama, they don’t have any holes”. A man thanked the women that were working in the program saying, “did you do this before?” “yes, we had a similar program last year”. “I guess I didn’t notice last year because I had my mill job and everything was all right. This year I’m being retrained at SWOCC to be a welder. So far I haven’t lost my house or car. I got the kids coats for the winter, but I burnt holes in mine at class and haven’t had the money to replace it”. He pulled a coat from his sack and put it on. “Doesn’t this fit good? Thank you.” One lady came here from Colorado with only the clothes on her back. She found two suits and said, “what a wonderful thing this is. Now I can go to my job interview looking nice. Thank you.” Lastly, a little girl about 10 years old came. She asked three times if the clothes and shoes were free. “Yes” was the reply. “Not even a nickel or a dime?” “No”. Then she picked out two pair of high heel shoes, a long blue dress and a fur trimmed blouse. She asked again, “are these free?” Yes, you can have anything you can use. “Oh no, these aren’t for me. I have a friend who lives next door. She has cerebral palsy and can’t leave her room much and she loves to play dress up”. She said her friend would be so glad. And the stories went on and on. What this points out is we don’t have to look to Africa or India or Haiti for need. People are hungry, people are in need of clothes and in need of friends right here, right now.
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As we celebrate the season of family gatherings, take some time to see that need and do something about it. At the Chamber, we believe a caring community is what we should always be.
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Timm Slater is executive director of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information on your Chamber, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.