So, just what am I thankful for today?
I'm thankful that my broken arm is healing fast - and that I'm a five minute walk from Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the finest hospitals in the world.
I'm thankful that I no longer have a car in downtown Boston, that I no longer have to worry about parking spots, shoveling out, or rats in my engine.
I am thankful for the new client I start work with next week on a really interesting project, in a domain I know very little about. And for all the other clients who provided me with work over the past year.
I am thankful, of course, for family and friends, for hearth and home, for health (broken arm aside) and happiness (getting rid of that $(#*)@(&#& car!).
I am thankful that I have enough money to make a donation to St. Francis House.
St. Francis House, the largest day shelter for the homeless and poor in New England, is a remarkable place.
It feeds and clothes an awful lot of needy people, and sees to their medical and counseling needs, but, more important, St. Francis House helps people rebuild their lives.
They do this through their Moving Ahead Program (MAP), which helps people work through whatever it is in their past that has kept them down - bad luck, bad choices - and gives them the support and structure they need to get beyond. Moving Ahead graduates succeed in getting and holding jobs, in staying sober, in finding housing, in renewing their lives. I don't have the "fast fact" right here at my fingertips, but my recall is that nearly 90% of MAP alumni make the gigantic step from lives on the street (and/or in prison) to meaningful, productive lives in the community.
There's a waiting list of over 200 who are ready to turn their lives around and get into MAP.
The need is so great!
No, today's small donation won't speed up the waiting list for MAP. But it will help feed and clothe the folks on that waiting list. It will help provide the counseling and programs that will help them hang on while they wait.
If you want to learn more about St. Francis House, click here. And if you want to make a donation, I can more than guarantee you that the money will be very well spent. As for the art work shown above? I thought it made a good Thanksgiving Day motif. It was painted by Evelyn, a St. Francis House regular, who was also a regular in the writing workshop I ran, where she worked on a memoir about growing up in Dorchester.