Be the Cause

OC Compassion Cell – Mother’s Day 2005

The afternoon began at the Catholic Worker, a rambling two story house, with an old fashioned front porch, located in Santa Ana California. The Catholic Worker was surprisingly small, I expected it to be larger knowing they feed thousands of meals a week to homeless families and provide a place for many women and children to sleep at night.
Several people greeted me as I entered the door to house with wooden floors and foyer and dining room strangely empty of furniture. I learned later that there is no furniture so that the room to lay down at night for sleeping can fit as many sleepers and mats as possible. As I turned to my left looking for any early arrival Be the Cause volunteers. This room contained tables covered with white table clothes and flowers. It was Mother’s Day and the room looked appropriately decorative for serving a special meal. We were there to help with serving food and to make personalized Mother’s Day cards. We came equipped with digital cameras, laptop and printer. As I walked through the house there were children running, around, adults chatting. I headed out to the back to a large yard filled with picnic tables. The smell of food wafted from the kitchen and hundreds of people were waiting to eat. The large crowd created a buoyant but chaotic feeling. So as volunteers arrived some were asked to serve food. Some of us set up a small “photo studio” in room to the side of the decorated tables.

As soon as the camera and laptop appeared a line of children formed to take a look the computer, try out the camera. We soon had two kids who were willing and able and very helpful assistants. Then magic happened — kids, gathered and posed and their wonderful varied personalities were reflected in the digital copy of the moment. See to look at the photos. I had made template for the card – so by taking each picture, reducing it in size on the computer we could add the newly taken photo to card, print it and then have the kids sign it. Xuan and I took turns taking photos and Sukh manned the computer and printer. It turned out it was not just kids who wanted their pictures taken, there were dads, friends and one mother to be, Jennifer, whose baby is due in July, wanting to pose also. Thanks to a wonderful donation from Mike we had both card stock and envelopes to complete all of these lovely gifts.

My heart was truly touched when towards the end of the evening one mother came up to me, touched my arm and told me that this was the best present she could have asked for and when her kids had handed her the card she had begun to cry. I realized how important it was to these mother’s to be recognized on this day. And how important it is to recognize our mother’s, and all the mother’s around the world, every day for the arduous job of carrying us for nine months until we enter the world and for providing love and care for many years afterwards. Dwight and Lea, the couple who run the Catholic Worker, and all the families staying at the house made it a really special, beautiful day for all of us! And the Catholic Worker, in its own way a mother, takes care of so many who need a helping hand.

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