Some two thousand years ago, a small boy gave up his fish and bread, and with them, fed five thousand. He was a humble servant coming near to a great Leader, Jesus Christ. Such is the story we are looking for.
Written by Cristina Prida, Editor –
ACS Dublin volunteer
Night after night we see evidenced the impartial face of homelessness, which strikes adults and children alike. Every week we have some children standing in front of the ACS tables, eyes roaming for food.
Some on tiptoes, barely reaching the table. Some with no shoes, hurrying after their mother. Some silent (and you wonder, what are they thinking?). Then you see them go away, trudging obediently after their parents: a picture you cannot erase from your mind.
When these children are grown up, what childhood memories will they fondly remember? What family dinners will they think of? You cannot help but wonder.
At the same time, we have children on the other side of the table, who are serving. What is the difference between them and their counterparts?
By what cause is one child behind the table and another in front of it? It is only their circumstances; it is by no fault of their own that they find themselves hungry, or cold. And it is not by their choice.
Some weeks ago we had a young boy named Jerry, coming to serve for the first time at ACS. He was so impressed that he decided to donate half of the soon coming birthday money he’d get to ACS (See his testimony here.)
From his incentive Jerry’s Fund was born: a fund for children, by children.
Your children can donate from whatever little they may have and know that it will be used directly and exclusively for other children like themselves.
As the situation in Ireland regarding homelessness is worsening with the strains of restrictions, we are looking for toys, clothes, shoes, school bags, sweets… anything a young child may enjoy. There is expected to be 3,000 homeless children by Christmas. These children won’t have gifts; won’t have Christmas trees; won’t have something to look forward to. Indeed, many of them will eat Christmas dinner on the street, at a soup kitchen like ACS.
So next time you are buying shoes for your child, or throwing out old toys and clothes, remember the shoe-less child on the street, and the toy-less boy in emergency accommodation; and make sure to put something apart for him too.
In doing so, you are providing a glimmer of hope into these children’s lives; a glimpse of what life could be. Give up your “small fish”; your very “small barley loaves”; and you just may feed thousands.