(From left to right) Tessa is Australia (crocodile hunter), Anne is Antarctica (glacier), Alice is North America (prospector), I'm Asia (ninja), Laura is South America (the Amazon), Kathleen is Africa (Somalian pirate), and Krystal is Europe (Guinness).
Halloween at the park was something to see! The green hats dressed in costume, while a lot of the guests asked for candy! The kids from Mustard Seed School and the day care kids from Women's Empowerment trick or treated at all the different programs! (It was great seeing the children having a childhood experience!) After candy was passed out to the kids, we handed out candy to the guests. Everyone was in such a great mood, even though it was the end of the month and incredibly crowded!
The rest of the week was a complete 180! Hardly anyone was there (about 500 people per day). The worst part was I felt I had nothing to give. No shoes came in over the past week, and even though winter is starting here, we couldn't pass out gear: beanies, gloves, and ponchos. Cash donations have not dropped in this economy (which is awesome!!), but in-kind donations have, and we can really feel it. All of our hats, gloves, ponchos, shoes, sleeping bags, blankets, backpacks and jackets are donation based, and we don't have enough to go around. You know they have blisters on their feet; ripped up shoes; freezing; unable to manage without what they are asking for, and you have to say, "No." By far, that has been the hardest part of this job.
On a pleasant note, I shared this tale of woe with my sister Beth: There has been a man, Sam, who has on really thin shoes and has been asking for shoes everyday for three weeks. Unfortunately, I've had nothing to give him. But still he comes everyday to check. When Beth heard this, she immediately jumped into action! She is sending out a box of MEN'S SHOES!! Yay Bethie, and whoever else donates!
Also, my program coordinator for the JVC, Amber was here! She spent the week with us and yesterday we had an all day community retreat to bring us back to the four tenets of the JVC. It was such a blessing to examine our lives and re-dedicate them towards our common commitment!