A Ray of Hope

 

My favorite image of Easter is the rising of the sun out of the east, racing across the face of the earth lighting up town and country, desert and forest, proclaiming the promise of life, and life in the full. Easter is all about hope, no matter how dire our circumstances may appear. We recently took a woman into St. Francis Residence I who, for all purposes, seemed hopeless. But because of your generosity and the dedication of our staff her story has a surprising end. We will call her Annie.

Annie is now 67 years old. She was born in Detroit, the eldest of four children. She attended some college and found occasional work in a secretarial pool. But early on Annie had serious mental problems and for the past fifty-two years has struggled to survive. She came to New York about ten years ago, living in and out of hospitals, on the streets, and in shelters. But for the past three years she lived in a car in Brooklyn. When her physical health began to deteriorate and she had to go back into the hospital her car accumulated a tot of parking tickets, was impounded and ultimately auctioned off by the city. With nowhere else to go she was finally sent to us and moved into Residence I last month. Still suspicious and fearful, she is slowly adapting to the warmth and affection of her surroundings which has been missing from her life for decades. Annie is a slender ray of hope from the rising sun, and all because of you.

Your continued generosity has given hope and a second chance to hundreds of these least of our brothers and sisters at our three St. Francis Residences. They are a living testament to your faith in the worth of every human being no matter how battered life has left them. You help make the promise of Easter a reality for people who long ago gave up any dream of a decent life.