Below is the text of my guest post yesterday for helpamotherout.org.
If you haven't been to see their site, they're doing lots of good work for moms and kids in need. Check them out and tell them tangobaby sent you.
This photo was taken in Golden Gate Park.
I think it's a rare and magical thing to be able to look at a date on a calendar and think to yourself: Yes, on this day, I became a better person.
I'm just glad that date happened to me sooner than later.
Two weeks ago today, I passed by a young homeless woman on the streets of San Francisco, her eyes large and tear-filled. Holding a baby, with a small boy on one side of her and a little girl on the other, she needed $60 dollars for a motel room.
I walked by.
I often walk by people begging for money. We all do. We set up these automatic shields. If we gave away all of our money to everyone that asked us to, what would we have left?
The truth is that we might have even more than we gave. I would have never been able to say that to you over two weeks ago, but I can say it now.
The good news is that this time, I thought about the sight that I had seen, and thought that it was so terribly terribly wrong that I would not have been able to sleep had I not turned back. My protective bubble had burst.
And in so doing, returning to that woman and her children, a whole sad world opened to me. A world I have never encountered: a world of savage cruelty inflicted by someone bigger and stronger, someone who should have cared and protected but only harmed, with malice. But it's also a world of love and strength, the true measure of a woman's love for her family, who would do what she could for her children no matter how unsure the future seemed.
K and her children are a joy to be around. They are definitely a unit, bound by love, to each other. In this short span of two weeks, the world has reached out to help this family where a city could not. I am amazed at how the situation changes moment by moment.
I can only be inspired by the good will and love that people around the world, connected by electronic threads of compassion, have woven around this tiny family. Money, clothing, toys, this and more await this family. They are not out of the woods yet, by any means. They still need reliable shelter for months to come. But I am hopeful that their days of struggle and tears and cold nights have passed forever. If you can help, please do.
These children are our future. This mother is the only one they will ever have.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring.