My Daughter’s Day at the Salvation Army

18 May

Last Saturday, my daughter joined me and my friend Marv, at the Salvation Army for the theater workshop.  At first, she was a little nervous and didn’t know what to expect.  However, by the end of the day, she learned that homeless doesn’t necessarily mean bad or scary.

She was great, diving right in to introduce herself to the troupe and the participants.  We had performance exercises at the beginning of the session, and she was not shy about participating and had a lot of fun.

After that, we broke up into groups to help the participants work on their pieces they’ll present at the performance this weekend.  She whole-heartedly took on any role she needed to, and liked being a part of the process.

During our break, we went outside to get fresh air, since it was such a beautiful day.  It was a busy scene, folks hanging out and enjoying the weather, items being given away, and music being played to entertain everyone.

We were approached a few times by volunteers who thought we were staying at the shelter, offering clothes, shoes, and something to eat.  She asked me, “Mom, why are they asking me if I need something?”  I told her they think we are staying there. “But Mom, why do they think we’re homeless?  We don’t look like we are.”

When we returned to watch everyone perform their piece, she kept asking who was homeless and who was not.  It was interesting how she couldn’t tell the difference between the participants and the troupe members.  I reminded her how we were offered items outside because volunteers thought we needed it.  The light bulb went off.

It was a great life lesson to realize that just because someone doesn’t have a place to live, it doesn’t make them a “bad” person and they don’t necessarily look any different than you and me.  In fact, there are some of us who are a few steps away from being in their shoes.  We are fortunate that has not happened to us.

She loved being there and working with the participants on their performances.  Everyone embraced her and were happy that she was so excited to help out.  In the end, we all won and had an amazing time.  She and I both look forward to many more sessions of working with these wonderful people who are so courageous to share their stories.


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