"Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you
visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.
I have great sympathy for those who lack proper clothing, decent clothing, appropriate clothing that fits well, serves the appropriate function for the appropriate body part, and all that entails.
My mother was insane, and when I was a little girl, she announced that she would not buy me any clothing until I "lost weight." I was 7 years old and had no idea what this meant. The only food to which I had access was whatever she gave us when she remembered to feed us. She would leave us alone for days at a time with nothing but a sack of potatoes in the refrigerator. Once, her sister came to visit us from thousands of miles away and, even though she was expected, my mother did not bother to meet her when she arrived. My aunt found us half naked, hungry and filthy.
I remember laying on my bed when I was 7, staring into my empty closet, save for one sweet little blue plaid dress with a built-in apron and puffy short sleeves. It was 2 sizes too small for me and I could no longer wear it, but I loved that dress. It was the only one I had. Other than that, I had one pair of shorts and a few ratty tops. I prayed every night that I would wake up the next morning and "be thin."
When I was about 10 or 11, my mother was having clothes tailor made for herself, but she forced me to wear either one of two old cocktail dresses to school, along with a pair of oxfords she had painted pea green. I was blind as a bat and wore glasses. She refused to let my hair grow and, instead, took scissors to it now and then and chopped at it until it was short enough to comb without any trouble. I looked like a horror show. I was routinely picked on and beaten up. Once an entire gang surrounded me on my way home from school. Two girls beat me while the crowd hooted and hollered and contributed kicks and fists when I tried to escape that diabolical circle.
To this day, I am extremely picky about my clothes. I will not wear used clothing, and I have learned how to assemble a nice looking wardrobe on a tight budget. Except on those days when I am physically unable to get out of my pajamas, I dress, even though I will not leave my apartment, except to walk my dog and no one but the neighbors will probably see me. It isn't for them. It is for my own sense of personal dignity. It helps mitigate the damage of my brutal childhood that gave me post traumatic stress disorder. It is a coping mechanism.
I have seen the looks on people's faces when the homeless come begging, with their long ratty hair and their dirty and ill-fitting clothing. It reminds me of the stares and hostility of the other kids, when I came walking onto the playground in an old pink polyester cocktail dress and pea green oxfords. I didn't have a friend in the world.
Except for other homeless people, I imagine the homeless have no one either. I have this feeling that I desperately want them to have some nice things to wear, at the very least a warm hat to help preserve their health and their comfort. I don't want to give them some hand-me-down or some machine made, flimsy thing from China, as if they only deserve to have the cast-offs of other people or the very cheapest of goods. I want to give them something made with love and prayers, from good yarn, made well, and attractive, because these are things I want for myself and I am to love my neighbor as much as I love myself. These people ARE my neighbors. I live in an apartment in an area that is saturated with the homeless and the poor, and I can't leave the apartment without encountering at least one such person.
The only way I can produce hats and scarves for the homeless is to ask for donations of yarn vis-a-vis my Amazon wish list. I currently have enough yarn to make another 2 or 3 hats, and that's it.
A typical hat made from super chunky yarn,
knit for the homeless. (The color is MUCH
prettier than what you see here, but I had
trouble with the camera. I am no photographer!)
If you have the wherewithal to donate some yarn, you can contribute by ordering from my Amazon wish list for this purpose. Please remember that it is very difficult to make anything from only one skein of yarn, so please pick one color and purchase as many skeins of that color as you feel you can afford. The web site will require you to enter that number before checkout. Amazon has my address and will ship directly to me.
You can find the Amazon wish list HERE.
THANK YOU for your generosity.
Silver Rose Parnell
(c) 2015, all rights reserved.