Hear that? Is it:

1.) A busy bee?

-or-

2.) A young woman generating news?

-or-

3.) All of the above?

v

If you guessed #3, then ding, ding, ding, you are correct!

Last week, when I made my local paper, I excitedly wrote my sibs, mom, and MIL, adding that my proactive letter I’d sent to all my county’s contacts had been adopted by the state folks as a draft for the other counties (who hadn’t/still haven’t quite gotten on the ball yet) to use for getting the word out. Then, VERY jokingly I wrote:

I can just see it now, “Local Grad Blazes Trail on State Project,” in the Craig paper.”

MIL e-mailed me back asking if I wanted her or my mom to send the news to their paper. I wrote her back:

I was kidding!

She wrote me back:

Well, I’m not! So who do you want to call the paper?

So…the hometown reporter called me today. I really was quite embarrassed when he asked me to tell him about this project of mine. I was quick to point out that the project was not mine, but the state’s – that I was only responsible for my county’s efforts.

Reporter: So when did you graduate from MCHS? And what did you do for college?

Me: 1997 – then I went to Colorado State University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, graduating in December of 2000.

Reporter: So how’d you get involved in this line of work?

Me: Well, kind of by chance, the work found me. After college, it was difficult finding a job for several months. Finally, an offer was made with the local mental health center, and I worked there as a homeless outreach worker and housing program coordinator. I learned more in that work than my whole higher education experience could have taught me.

Reporter: So, isn’t it kind of depressing to see people suffering all the time?

Me: Yes, it is. It’s a type of hell on earth to see the ugliness that is tossed at them from our society. You begin to see beauty in the souls of the simple people of the streets, in the single parents working 40+ hrs/wk yet still can’t make it with daycare and high housing costs, in the children who age much too quickly, while smugness and condescension breed in the comforts of our upper middle class communities. But, I tell ya what. If the depressing work made me quit, and all the others who join me, then how is that serving our community? Somebody’s got to do it and good will come.

Reporter: What’s the overall goal of this project?

Me: Well, the overall goal is to achieve a solid, and accurate, starting point. Factual numbers and figures for public awareness and education programs. For instance, did you know that homeless families are on the rise? And did you know, that they are nearly half of the entire homeless population? Did you know that according to some studies, the average age of a homeless person in the US is 9 YEARS OLD??

Reporter: Really?!? Damn…

Me: Exactly. Once education and awareness campaigns hit, hopefully the public will catch on. Also, grant proposals and homeless/housing programs would hopefully become more effective. Though, with funding cuts, who knows?

Reporter: Why do you do this kind of work?

Me: (I thought I already answered that – and just kind of repeated my above comments – my brain was fried after 3 hrs of customer service training)

Reporter: Thank you for your time Ms. Meyer.

Me: Thank you for the coverage of the project.

After talking to him, I found a quote from Mother Teresa:

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless.
The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.
We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.

Such true words…and exactly why I have the values I do. Not only do I try to teach my children that they are wanted, loved, and cared for, but I want them to convey that to others. I want myself to model that to them by being able to hug a man who’s been in 90 degree weather for weeks without a shower.

He’ll joke and say, “I’m a little ripe today,” and try to shoo me away, but he’ll not be effective in doing so. His eyes will crinkle up as he smiles, he’ll say something insignificant with his words. But his eyes will say, “Thanks for reminding me that I’m still loveable to someone on the outside.”

IT’s these radical acts of love that God created us for, and I feel best when doing them.

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