Merry Christmas to Turning Point volunteers
To the Editor:
Turning Point has seen an increase in the demand for shelter for people coming into our office after spending the night under a tree, in a car or on a beach. Many are in this position as a result of making a series of bad decisions, of not having enough money to keep them safe from the hands of an abusive partner, only to have to spend the night in a corner tucked away somewhere on Merchant’s Way. Many suffer a financial burden from being unable to work due to cancer, diabetes or mental illness. Many need help just by being a member of the working poor.
However, this bleak societal landscape is presided over by what I like to refer to as a tall group of “Volunteer Pines”. Strong and ever caring with roots in in the community. On a daily basis these volunteers offer an empathetic, encouraging and non-judgmental ear to those that are in a position they would rather not be. These women offer a direction to mothers, fathers and children where there was none. It takes no small amount of resiliency to return every week to fight this good fight. On many occasions I have heard and seen the emotion expressed by our volunteers after listening to a particularly difficult situation. I have asked on several occasions why they do what they do, if they enjoy doing this kind of volunteer work. Each time their answer is the feeling they receive by helping their fellow man, their fellow citizens, and their community. To use their good fortune, not in the form of money but with precious time, to show they care. Because of these women, these “Volunteer Pines”, the spirit of Christmas resides in Turning Point all year long.
For a small moment I would like to magnify the light these unseen women bring to the unseen lives they encounter every day. Merry Christmas to Barbara, Dorice, Geri, Jane, Janet, Shonah, Mary, Nancy and Shirley.
And Merry Christmas to you Paul T, you are missed by us all.