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Laundry, hugs and unicorns

 

 

Last Saturday a family came to the Franklin Hiawatha encampment to offer an incredible gift: to do the laundry of some of the camp residents. Nick and his friend Rob toted bags and bags of laundry to a nearby laundromat where it was washed, dried, folded and returned to the camp. Then they bagged up more laundry and did it again. And again.

The generosity and compassion of this family was absolutely awe-inspiring.

While Nick was bringing the freshly laundered clothes back to camp residents his daughter Hailey colored on the sidewalk with sidewalk chalk. I happened to be nearby and talked to her about how much I loved her cheerful drawing of a rainbow with a unicorn on top. Passersby couldn't help but smile because of it.

I've spent time at the encampment nearly every day for the past month, working with Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors and Natives Against Heroin: getting emergency supplies, asking for donations, talking to the folks at the camp - whatever needs doing. Every day is different. Some days are harder than others. It's difficult to witness so much raw need in a country where a small percentage of people have so very, very much. Some days the heart is heavy because of the staggering inequity.

As I was leaving camp that day Hailey came up to me and said, "Do you want a big hug?" and then proceeded to throw her arms around me and give me a her biggest squeeze. I needed that, beautiful Hailey, more than you'll ever know.

Hailey, Victoria and their dad Nick.

Hailey's drawing, still in progress.

Saturday, September 22, 2018 at the Franklin Hiawatha encampment

Members of Solomon's Porch, a faith community in South Minneapolis, have also laundered clothes for camp residents. A big shout out to them for their generosity as well!

Posted by Camille

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