I often inform our volunteers that on occasion there may be 1 or 2 children in a Comfort Drop that struggle with brainstorming positive things to draw for the pillowcase decorating activity. These particular kids need extra attention, time and encouragement to dig deep into their cup of thoughts and find light beneath the darkness. They’re the children who possibly suffered the most trauma and/or neglect and usually reject our idea of finding something positive to focus on. For them, it’s easier to focus on reality and sulk in their pain and being optimistic can feel forced or simply a waste of time. These are the children that I look forward to meeting and the ones I tend to stick with throughout our 60 minute Drop.
“I don’t have anything that makes me feel good,” said an 11 year old Keyanna. My immediate reaction was to sit down and pull something out of her that she was unable to see. “There is something. Let’s forget about all the pain for a minute and try. What was the last thing to make you smile or feel a minute of inner peace?” I asked. It took about 10minute but we came up with 8 things including two songs that Keyanna enjoys. We wrote those lyrics all over the pillowcase and drew her name with a crown on top and hearts all around it. This pillowcase is now the last thing Keyanna sees at the end of the day. I don’t know if she’s sleeping any better but by being forced to see positive things she’s giving her heart and mind space to focus on her dreams.
With each drop its most important to provide comfort but my personal goal is to show at least 1 child that they have the ability to comfort themselves when they need it most. I truly love this work. I’m so grateful for our passionate volunteers that worked the room and gave attention to the other 28 homeless kids in the room that day. I will never forget Keyanna. I hope she smiles every time she looks down at her pillow.