I’m not homeless, but I’m poor. My parents have always tried to provide for us, but its never been easy. They don’t have an education, they jump from job to job, and we usually are short on funds every month.
I spend most of my time at the local skatepark. It’s an escape from my life and I like the people there. I noticed YouthHope earlier in the year when they continually showed up with food and water and clothes. I always take food from them because I’m not guaranteed food when I get home.
Around October, the people from YouthHope started talking about free shoes for Christmas. The part that really shocked me was that the shoes would be wrapped. In wrapping paper!
I’ve never received a wrapped gift before. Ever! Living in poverty means gifts are rare. And wrapped gifts are even rarer.
I signed up the first day that I was able to and then waited impatiently until the day of the party.
I showed up the day of the party and ran right up to the cars to get my shoes. When they gave me my first wrapped gift, I didn't want to unwrap it. I wanted to keep it wrapped. I wanted to keep it as a reminder that I’m loved and cared for.
I was supposed to try on the shoes before I left the park, but I didn't. I didn't want to unwrap it. I waited a few days before I opened them and kept the wrapping paper.
I can’t wait for next Christmas where I can get another wrapped pair of shoes from YouthHope. Until then, I have a goal to better my life.
I’m going to try harder in school, do my homework, and be a better listener to my parents. I have a goal to be in a better spot next year when I receive my wrapped gift.
YouthHope believes in me and has offered to help me anytime I need it.
Thank you YouthHope for being a constant source of help in my life and for giving me a new sense of belonging and drive.