“Gratitude is the memory of the heart…” ~Jean Baptiste Massieu
After a year of struggling to stay afloat in the storm of challenges that we faced as a small not-for-profit, last night’s Run was the gift that somehow always keeps on giving. It is time to stop and say thank you to the hard-working, ever-present band of teenagers who give of their time and of themselves to do the homeless outreach that is known as SHARE. It’s often this time of year that I’ll try to calculate the thousands of sandwiches, the hundreds of gallons of coffee – a nasty, overly-sweet swill that I take full responsibility for – and the multitude of kids that come out, once a month, to stand in the shadows with the men and women we have created friendships with over the past 27 years of participating in the Midnight Run.
I offer my deepest thanks to all of you who have been part of this odyssey…I give you my sincerest gratitude, as it’s all I can give, so that each one of you knows how much you have meant to me over these many years of social service. Your enthusiasm has been a distinct part of what fuels me to continue. To stand back and watch you interact with men and women whose lives are touched by your kindness, has warmed my often-weary heart. Last night’s run was no exception of course. As we dished out chili dogs and potato salad, we stood back and observed all of you as you listened to the stories told you, as you smiled deeply and responded, as you hugged each homeless man and woman, leaving them with the depth of human touch to remember you by. We watched. And we remarked on how you are the people who will continue to do what Gandhi had hoped for. He said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”
None of you, over the years, ever feared to change, to evolve, to silently influence those whom you touched with your giving souls. Somehow, some way, you have begun to learn to prioritize, knowing that these monthly journeys into the lives of others are truly fleeting. Thank you for giving yourself to a greater, common good, without blinking an eye. It’s true: you do it because you can.
Have a wonderful summer! We will continue to have a couple of runs during the summer months and if you’d like to join us, we’re here! Just let us know. Have fun. Live life with the spirit you bring to SHARE. Laugh often and embrace this time with your friends, your family. Chase fireflies and go to concerts. Make art…make music. And while you do, please know that I will be thinking of you all, with love in my heart, and that perpetually goofy grin on my face.