“If [a food stamp challenge] becomes a distant memory then nothing’s changed. And so hopefully things like this can help expand our consciousness and motivate us to act on a more consistent basis.”
— Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
When Cory Booker took up the SNAP challenge, it brought attention to what it’s like to live on food stamps, about $30, for a week.
About the same time, my daughter brought home a letter from her teacher. Their class is supporting a family this Christmas whose father has been laid off, and whose mother’s hours were cut to half time. They have five children ranging from 9 to 19.
Yesterday, in part because of Mayor Booker’s challenge, I took a closer look at the letter. This family was on food stamps. In addition to the expected requests for food and supplies, every child had written a Christmas wish list, including specifics with sizes. Dad even wrote that he would like a new pair of small slippers.
But all Mom wrote was, “Mother is just thankful for the help.”
I asked my daughter, Tessa, what we should give. Maybe some food. Maybe a special item just for mom. She agreed, and after consulting my wife and Heidi at the Good Neighbor Center (don’t forget to support this amazing family shelter this Christmas) , we decided to send along a gift certificate for a manicure from a local nail salon.
After we bought the certificate, and got back home, my daughter taped the envelope onto our donation sack filled with food. On it, she wrote one simple, short sentence.
“Moms deserve something at Christmas, too.”
Yes, they do.
Thank you, Mayor Booker. Because of your inspiration, one mother got a small “extra” in her stocking this year.
We trust that she enjoys her manicure this holiday season. We also trust that it gives her one other thing.
Yesterday’s gift of time … Helped my daughter pack up a donation sack for a family that’s struggling this Christmas.