A Gift for All Seasons

As the Holiday season approaches, Abby's staff is hard at work preparing for the outpouring of gifts the holidays bring. We are also preparing to deal with emotions many guests and residents experience at this time. Some are dealing with difficult emotions due to loss of relatives, housing, or relationships; others are wondering how they will survive the winter months without a stable place to live or worrying if they can properly feed and clothe their children.

"I was hungry, homeless, and miserable when I knocked on Abby's House door for the first time and even though I was a total stranger, you did not treat me like one. You welcomed me, gave me food, a place to sleep, and you did whatever you could to alleviate the pain that filled my heart." -Margaret, Abby's House resident

We counteract those negative emotions with the generosity of our donors and volunteers. A warm hug can bring a smile, a new comforter or pair of gloves keeps them safe and warm, a beautiful basket of soaps and sweet smelling perfumes remind them that they are special and deserving of beautiful things, and a supermarket gift card eases the anxiety of an upcoming shopping trip.

We are also inspired by our residents and shelter guests when they stop to say "thanks" or detail their week's search for a job, or tell you how well their kids are doing at Elm Park School. Sometimes they'll simply describe the new energy and confidence they feel -- these are the "gifts" that last a life time -- a sense they belong, they matter, and they're worthy.

"I now have self esteem for the 1st time in my life. I joined AA meetings. The change did a whole lot of good for me. I missed my friends and family but not those who have deeply hurt me. I learned to stand up for myself. I learned not to let people walk all over me. My attitude towards life changed me. I am a new and different person." - Anonymous

At one time or another, everyone needs to be nurtured and empowered; it helps one recognize self-worth. A gift is more than a thing -- a gift is a demonstration of mutual respect and admiration. We want to express our deep appreciation for helping Abby's keep the doors open. Again and again, our supporters demonstrate an understanding of what the women of Abby's House endure. Be it by making a donation or volunteering, donor support enables us to help these women regain solid footing on the path to independence; it's a precious, priceless gift that lasts a lifetime. Thank you.