A Little Faith and Hope

By Jessica Chaves from Haemonetics in Braintree
Jessica chose to spend a day making deliveries as part of her company’s employee volunteer program. It was her first time volunteering with us. Safe to say, though, it won’t be her last!
“I don’t know what I’m walking into.” That’s what I kept thinking to myself when we pulled up to the first 3 tenement house. I was nervous and a little scared. We were pulling up to a stranger’s house who I never met before…how would this go? So much anxiety. I certainly had no idea that in the next few hours it would change the way I thought about giving, about love and about life.
We climbed the rickety stairs to the second floor. Chipped paint and the smell of stale air filled the hallway. Our driver, staffmember John DeAngelo, knocked on the door…“My Brother’s Keeper,” he said. No answer. Maybe they changed their mind. Maybe they’re scared to open the door. After all we are strangers to them just as much as these families were strangers to us. Again, he knocked…and sure enough the door slowly opened.
We were flooded with the biggest smile that one could even imagine. “PLEASE COME IN,” she welcomed us into her small apartment on the second floor. We placed her gifts under the tree and asked if she had just moved in. Looking around where we were standing—there was only a tree, a small cart of laundry and one mattress in the bedroom. “No I’ve been here a while,” she replied. A little child peeked his head around the corner—he must
have been her son. He was curious and just stared with big brown eyes at us and at our big bags.
“We have one more surprise for you,” we said. In unison and out of tune we sang, “We wish you a Merry Christmas. We wish you a Merry Christmas. We wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!” Her eyes lit up as did her baby’s. We exchanged hugs and well wishes and left for our next family.
It was much like this for the rest of the morning. People so grateful that they were even thought of. Some people who just wanted to be remembered.
I must have given about a million hugs today. Throughout the day I wondered if sometimes that’s all people need… just a hug to be reminded that it’ll be ok.
We are all human and we are all in this together. Even if you’ve only got a mattress and a tree…it doesn’t.