Be That Mom

Let me tell you about my friend, Kathleen.  One of the first times I visited her, we drove by a woman on the street corner holding a sign begging for money.  She said something like, “I wish there was some place I could pull over to talk to her.”  “You would do that?,” I asked.  She went on to tell me that she tries to stop and talk to women and youth on the streets to see if she can help.  She also keeps a stack of McDonalds gift cards in her car to hand to people.  I’m pretty bold, but I have to confess, I have never gotten out of my car to talk to one of these people. She inspires me and will hate that I’ve written this.

Many of us feel called to love vulnerable children.  Some of us have traveled around the globe to bring them home to our families, others are foster parents, provide respite care, create orphan care ministries, or do many other things to help the fatherless.  Kathleen is compelled by God to love and minister to street kids. She sent me some notes for this post that were so good, I’ve decided to share them as they are,  in her voice, so you can hear her heart.

From street kids in Kenya to American teens in Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York, it became apparent that they all have the same need. They all need a family to love them. That was God’s plan. When he sent His son to earth he started with a family and a mom….a teenage girl. God knew that even Jesus needed a mom to raise him, care for his basic needs and show him love.  Every kid deserves the same thing. Every kid needs a mom. What if  we could generate the power of MOMS to help reach out to the hurting street kids on our streets? What if every soccer mom and church mom and school mom you knew took a few hours a month (or even a few minutes?) to write a card, bake cookies and/or connect with the local drop in center for homeless youth in their own community? It wouldn’t take much to show a homeless teen that someone cares about them. You don’t have to adopt them, do foster care or even commit to a year of volunteering. You just need to remember that every kid needs a mom and then BE THAT MOM!

Before I lose you, if time is short and you are just about to click off of this post, I want to make a very simple request – then you can read some more about street kids if you like.
I want you to consider doing something much simpler than stopping your car on the side of the road.  Would you do a simple “mom task” for a street kid in Seattle?  You can Be That Mom by sending a Christmas card to a street kid that will be tucked into a backpack of supplies and passed out this month. If you have the time and resources, you can include a McDonalds gift card (even $5.00 will feed a teen), or if you have the resources, but not the time, you can include a check made out to Until Then (a ministry to street kids – Russ and I serve on the board), and they will purchase a gift card(s) to include for you.  If you are short on time and resources, send a card and we’ll make sure a gift card gets added to it.  The real point is to make a loving gesture toward these vulnerable kids.
Here are some important facts about street kids:
  1. There are an estimated 150 million (unicef number) of children in the world who live and work on the streets….For a description and lots more information you can check out untilthen.org
  2. There are over 1300 children (under 21) who live on the streets of Seattle and at least that many in Portland.
  3. Domestic street kids are frequently refugees from the foster care system. Many of these kids have been through 10-20 foster care placements before giving up on the system and running away to live alone on the street.  Frequently these are kids who were taken out of their homes because of abuse and/or neglect situations. Some kids go directly from abusive homes to the street, skipping the system entirely.
  4. Studies have shown that within 48 hours a kid on the street is approached by a pimp or someone trying to lure them into the commercial sex trade.  Many kids end up trading sex for shelter, food and survival.  Many become addicted to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with the treacherous life of the streets.
  5. Kids band together in groups of like-minded kids, creating their own “family units” that they fiercely defend and protect. This is their only protection against the harsh life and conditions of the street. Kids know they need a family….they just haven’t had the good fortune of being born into a family that wanted them or could care for them.

If you would like to send a card, please mail it to:

Overlake Christian Church

Be That Mom

9900 Willows RD NE

Redmond, WA 98052

If you would like to include a check for a giftcard(s), please make it out to Until Then. Your donation is tax-deductible.  It would be best if you put the card in its envelope and then tuck the whole thing into an additional envelope to mail to Overlake Christian Church. We do not want your return address on the card that is tucked in the backpack. Thank you for considering this simple mom-gesture that might encourage a young person who has no family to send them a Christmas greeting.
On another note, please bear with me as we continue to work on the techy problems with my site.  We’ve moved it to a new server and the transition has been bumpy. You may notice photos missing, links that aren’t working, weird formatting, etc. Also, my blog email is down, so if you have emailed me, I am not able to access it.  I am going to need to repost the posts from last week, so those of you who get my posts in a reader (like Google Reader), will receive those two or three again.  I apologize in advance.  Hopefully it will all be flowing along beautifully soon.
#461 – 470 giving thanks

frost on the pasture

Very rowdy boys this morning – I’m trying to be thankful for this one

Sweet Pea with eight interviews from New York City to southern California over the next 18 days.

Russ working hard to take care of us

the little boys’ clothes organized – thanks to Lindsey!

Piles of hand-me-downs to pass on to friends

Christmas music on Spotify – free!

singing Christmas carols in the car last night

Our new 12 Days of Christmas book – Dimples knows the whole song

Noah dressed in a suit and looking handsome this morning on his way to give a presentation

Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

12 Comments

  1. Alicia
    December 1, 2011

    I just saw this deal and was able to have the coupons mailed directly to the church listed above. LivingSocial.com has Mc Donald's coupons.

    One Booklet with Five Individual Big Mac Vouchers and Five Vouchers for Large Fries

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 1, 2011

      Great! Thanks, Alicia. Those would be great to include in cards.

      Reply
  2. alicia
    December 1, 2011

    I forgot to add the price is $13.00

    Reply
  3. Emily
    December 1, 2011

    Thank you so much for caring about street children. <3

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 2, 2011

      Emily, If you are able to spread the word, I would appreciate it. This is such a small thing to do to encourage one of these young people who has no family (or is estranged from family) this Christmas.

      Reply
  4. shannon2818
    December 2, 2011

    I like the gift card idea. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  5. Traci
    December 2, 2011

    I shared this with our women's minister at church and we are going to work on cards (and money) this Wednesday in Bible study. I am thankful that you shared this. It gave me one more way to share my love for kids in need with my church family.
    Praying you will receive a nice size package from Texas very soon!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 3, 2011

      Thank you so much, Traci! I am so excited to know that your Bible study is going to join with us. I can't wait to hear that the package arrived.

      Reply
  6. Mama D's Dozen
    December 3, 2011

    Thanks for this info. I will certainly write some cards, and will also post this on my blog. What a simple way that we can help street kids. I had absolutely no idea that there were so many street kids in Seattle.

    Laurel

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 3, 2011

      Thanks, Laurel – I so appreciate you sharing this!

      Reply
  7. Sue Skalicky
    December 4, 2011

    Last winter my daughter Breanne and I spent quite a bit of time talking to a young man named Chris in Portland. He had grown up in foster care therefore he received assistance to go to college. He drank during high school and got into some trouble but nothing terrible. He said he decided to find his birth parents but when he did he was devastated that his mom was a prostitute and his dad had died a drug addict. Chris was majoring in pre-med and doing very well but the news of his parents sent him spiraling into alcohol. He got a DUI and lost all his education and housing assistance and ended up on the street. He wouldn’t tell us just how bad it was on the streets at night because he said it was horrifying. Although he was sitting on the street asking for money, what he asked of me was if he could share his frustrations. I listened and then he said he had been having chest pain and asked if I thought it was serious. Having been an EMT I offered him some advice. He then asked if I had some Tylenol or Ibuprofen. I gave him some with a piece of pizza and a pop. Chris just desperately wanted a mom. I thank God that for one hour I could be his mom. Portland is filled with a whole new generation of homeless – children and teens. It is horrifying. I’m going to present this to my small group this Thursday and see how many cards we can send out. Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 4, 2011

      Sue, we need to hear these stories and to have a glimpse into the lives of the young people on the streets. Thank you so much for sharing it with us and I hope your small group joins in!

      Reply

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