Friday, October 2, 2015
31 Days: Day 2 - The Scarcity of Weekends
As I type this, I'm listening to children playing in the street on a cool, by southern standards, afternoon. One young lady has already popped in to give a hug and say hello. It's a Friday night and in our neighborhood that usually means one thing: getting ready for a crazy night and honestly, I often pray for rain.
When I was a kid, the weekend meant sleepovers, movie theater, football games and generally a good time to be had by all. I'll never forget the first time I realized weekends and summer time for many of our students means boredom and hunger. Lately, in our community it means children playing in the street all hours of night. I spend many a night peeking out the upstairs bathroom window to the intersection below just to keep an eye out on the kiddos running around with no parental supervision. It means increased car and foot traffic with increased drug deals. The sounds of people coming and going from the clubs. The drunken couple yelling at each other at 2 AM. The ridiculous amount of cars flying down our neighborhood streets throwing speed limit caution to the wind. It is a night when sirens are common and I usually fall asleep with my headphones in, listening to the police scanner on my phone. My prayer life is often increased on the weekends when I know there is ample time for students to get in trouble.
The map on my phone has become a go to app as I listen to intersections over the radio and map the distance from our house. If I hear anything about a juvenile involved shooting, my fingers hit Facebook messenger to get a check in from all of our young men. The scary fact is that most of the time, it is not them, but they know the person involved (more on that in another blog post).
Weekends also mean no free breakfast or free lunch at school, which for some, is the only hot meals they will get in a day. For a good number of kids, their nutrition over the weekend will consist of some sort of sugar filled soda or punch accompanied with a bag of chips or handful of candy. Basically, it is whatever they can get with some change from the corner store. Every Sunday afternoon, we host a youth group for community kids. One of the major parts of it is providing a home cooked meal to the kids that attend. I promise you, to watch the amount of food some of these little kids put away is indicative of just how hungry they are when they arrive. We are not set up to provide hot meals the entire weekend but it is a need. There was an afternoon a few months back when a teenage boy knocked on our back door and said, "Miss Morgan, can I please get something to eat?" It was almost as if he had trouble mouthing the words. Pride. Hunger. Weakness. I invited him in and threw together a quick meal. He was so appreciative and it reminded me just how much we take for granted.
What fun is a weekend more less a summer, when you don't have the provisions to enjoy it?
** If you live in the Savannah area and would like to consider providing a meal for our Sunday afternoon program, please click here to sign up. More spring dates will be added shortly.
*** If you would like to make a donation to our non profit to provide meals or support the programs of our ministry, please visit our website.