Four little faces will be etched on my mind forever as we drove away from the house last week. We were privileged to be asked to make an emergency trip to pick up four beautiful children. This is not normal procedure for Tupelo Children’s Mansion, but was necessary at the time. When we first picked up the children for them to live at the Mansion, all they had was one suit case between the four of them. When we delivered them back home after several months of stay, they had at least seven bags of clothing each, along with bags and bags of toys and personal care. A seat had to be taken out of the van for the trip so that all of their belongings would fit. The bags took up half of the van while the other half was organized for three booster seats and a car seat. During the trip, the four would get extremely upset when a sibling would take a toy that had been given to them.
When we drove up to the house to deliver the children back home, they ran out of the van into the house without a care for any of their belongings. They did not take one bag with them. The children were more focused on getting those hugs and kisses from loved ones. They did not take one item with them. As we said our goodbyes and hugs, one little girl reached up to give me a hug and said, “When will I see you again?” I realized right then that the staff at TCM had done what God had intended for them to do. I realized that day that the children did not care as much about their bags as much as the hugs from loved ones, hugs from TCM staff, and words of encouragement.
I was reminded again why my husband and I have worked at the Mansion for over 21 years. We have seen so many children who have called the Mansion home. Some children stay several months, while others have stayed for the greater part of their life. We will continue to provide them with physical items that will fit in their little bags when they leave which is provided by people just like you. But the most important item that we will leave them with is exactly what Jesus gave them when he saw little ones. We will wrap our arms around them and tell them that we love them, just as Christ did.
We cannot do this work without your support. Your support is helping us to feed and clothe disadvantaged children. Your support also goes to help the staff help these children physically, mentally, and spiritually. So when you give, you are indirectly giving hugs through a staff member. Thank you for giving hugs to those who need your love.