Imagine... a movement inspired by the arts to open the eyes of Americans to the plight of their own people. Imagine, through art, music and poetry, we are shining a much needed light on our own crisis: HOMELESSNESS
Art4TheHomeless was once a blog called Colors of Ink with Blogcharm, which closed down. Nutang, became the new home of Colors of Ink and was renamed Art4TheHomeless, by a really good friend, Samantha Medd. She is now the Co-Founder of Art4TH.
Now Art4TH is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization that unites artists of all venues to promote homeless awareness in the US.
Art4TH does this through the Art4TH Webzine, a monthly online magazine that features a musician whose music plays throughout the website, a feature artist, and a feature writer while also featuring a homeless relief organization. All artists featured retain their copyrights and all of it is free. If you would like to be a featured artist, musician, or writer contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Homeless at Christmas, 1993
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Homeless at Christmas, 1993
Monday. 12.14.09 3:34 pm
Shreveport, LA 1993
My mother and I had just moved to Louisiana. We were staying at The Providence House. It was the Evergeen House then. We had been there since the week before Thanksgiving. I was being transferred into a new school, in a new state. This wasn't new to me though. I had moved around so much as a child, my mother wanted to keep us off the streets.
I knew that I wasn't going to get anything for Christmas because Santa didn't know where we were.
The shelter had a huge Christmas tree in the family room with presents under the tree but not real presents--only decoration.
I remember being in the family room on Christmas Eve. It was in the afternoon. Christmas dinner was being served and KSLA News 12 was blaring on the TV about Santa's leaving the North Pole. Someone was playing Christmas carols on the piano.
My mother and I ate and went to our little room. We shared a bathroom with another family. Later that night, Mom was asleep. There was a tap on our bathroom door. It was one of the other kids.
"Santa's coming! Let's go down!"
I remember hesitating. We weren't supposed to be out of our rooms after nine--or ten--I can't remember.
I went with Deedee and her brother and we silently padded down to the stairs. So far, no one spotted us. I opened the door to the main hall and the three of us softly went down the stairs. It was slow because we wanted to be quiet. I still didn't think Santa was going to find us.
Cold air greeted us. Someone was holding the door open. We heard people talking. We continued on down the stairs and finally saw what was going on: There were several of Santa Clauses of all shapes and sizes bringing in huge black trash bags full of stuff.
Deedee, Matt and I sat there for a couple of hours watching them bring in the bags. I remember telling them that perhaps Santa knew the other families were here but my mother didn't have a chance to inform him that we were here. Deedee said that she would share her gifts with me if we didn't get anything. I just knew there was no way I could have a present because we had no family and no one to know where we were.
Finally, the Santa Clauses started to leave and one of them noticed us. Deedee and Matt bolted. Santa looked at me and smiled. He held his finger to his lips as if to say, "I won't tell anyone that you are down here," winked and walked out the door.
I ran up the stairs to where Deedee and Matt were. They asked me what had happened and I told them.
We all went back to our rooms where our mothers were waiting on us. My mom scolded me and their mom scolded them. It wasn't too bad since we didn't get caught by any of the staff and after we told our parents what we saw and that Santa smiled and winked at me, we knew we weren't in any trouble.
I finally went to sleep. Mom and I were woken up by someone pounding on the door.
The staff were singing Christmas carols and yelling "Merry Christmas!"
Mom said, "Johnna, look!" as someone brought us seven huge bags of gifts. I heard Deedee and Matt squealing in the room next to us. I couldn't speak. There were several of presents with my NAME on them! Not just random gifts but gifts with my NAME on them.
Deedee came and said "I TOLD you! He would find you!"
Many of the presents were jigsaw puzzles with like 5,000 pieces. There was one beautiful glass babydoll. There were clothes, Barbies, and tons of stuffed animals.
I had more toys than I ever had any Christmas. I remember jumping up and down, crying and screaming--with joy.
We went to breakfast for Christmas morning and later on there were more people with food and candy.
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