The holidays are, for many people, a time for enjoying family gatherings, getting together with friends, lighting up a Christmas tree or Hanukkah candles, and gathering together over a meal to celebrate the personal meaning we find in the season. We take the kids to see Santa Claus, or visit the homes of others or invite them into ours. We decorate, bake and enjoy the many festivities. It’s something to look forward to all year long.
But what if you have no home? No presents to share, no place to prepare a meal to eat. Not much to celebrate, and no one with whom to share a festive season. It becomes, for many people, a time of year that only serves to highlight what they don’t have. And a season when they feel so very alone.
One of the families that has been staying with Hundred Nights for the past few months understands what it means to be alone, with no home, no means to purchase presents for their kids, and the constant stress of not knowing where their next ride will come from or if they will ever have their own home again. For them, it feels like there’s not really much to celebrate.
Thankfully, Hundred Nights has been here for that family and for countless other men, women and children from throughout the region. In fact, we’ve been here all year, open every single day of the year, because homelessness doesn’t just strike during the one hundred coldest nights.
Families and individuals lose their homes for many reasons, from substance misuse or mental health struggles to working multiple lower-paying jobs that just don’t add up to what they need to. And many more people are just a paycheck away from losing their homes, as well. Thankfully, we’re here to help them stay in their homes and off the streets, as well as shelter them when they have no other place to go. But we couldn’t do it without your help.
At Hundred Nights, we are happy to welcome people when they need us the most. And for someone who has no other place to go, feeling truly welcome is important – more important than you can imagine. But we also provide lots more to them, or – more to the point – YOU offer them so much more.
Your gifts provide the shelter that keeps them off the streets and out of the cold woods. You help provide the resources they need to get back on their feet and to stay safe while they’re getting there. Your gift of $1,000 enables us to provide overnight awake staff at the shelter and two overflow sites from November through April, ensuring a safe haven for those experiencing homelessness. Your gift of $500 provides counseling to people in danger of losing their homes, or help those already homeless get the identification and paperwork needed to get into subsidized housing. Your gift of $100 helps us launder bedding and clothing that is donated, or provide personal hygiene products or soap with which to shower. Your gift at any level helps those we shelter feel welcomed, respected and human again. And that’s the real gift, shared from one person to another.
Every individual served through Hundred Nights deserves a chance to be a contributing, valued member of our community. Your generosity in making a gift to Hundred Nights today can help them get there.
As you reflect on what the holidays mean to you and your family or friends, please be generous in remembering those whose reflections might not be quite so bright. Be their light this season.
P.S. You can help bring the season of joy to a woman, a child or a man right now, by generously giving to support those who seek help and shelter through Hundred Nights. Your gift can make all the difference in their lives by giving them help, but more importantly, by giving them hope. May your holidays be joyful – thank you!