Today, I was driving back to the office after a meeting in Downtown Kansas City when I came across a young woman with a small child…she was probably four-years-old. Every thought that was running through my mind, at that moment, ceased and all I could think about was that little girl…in the cold, standing with her mother begging for money. I circled the highway and asked her if she needed help. She said she did not have a place to stay or money. I didn’t have any money on me, so I offered to get her help at a local shelter; she said they were all full (I will personally call each of them to confirm). I then offered to get her a hotel so her daughter had a warm and safe place to lay her head tonight and she would not accept my offer. I then offered to buy them a warm meal and once again, she declined my offer. At this point I was pissed but kept my calm. I told her that this was not for or about her, it was for her daughter and she needed to think of but one person in that moment and that was her daughter. Her little girl started crying hard and begging her mom to go with me. Her mom told her to be quiet and wiped her eyes. The little girl continued to beg her mom…she told her I looked nice and she was hungry. Her mother wouldn’t get in my vehicle but agreed to exchange phone numbers so I could check on them tonight. She was clearly in a really bad place. It will be my days work to make sure they have a warm and safe place to stay tonight. I tell you this for no other reason than to build awareness and to challenge more people to be the voice for the children who have none.
I have been a fierce child advocate all of my adult life. I can’t bear the thought of children experiencing homelessness, hunger, abuse, illness, etc. It consumes my thoughts when I come across a child who needs help or hear of a child who needs help. Some people have challenged me that I can’t help everyone and in some situations you have to turn a blind eye. My response…I will NEVER turn a blind eye. EVER! In fact, I will not go through my life believing that we can’t help everyone. Let me just believe I can and pursue this passion with a tenacity and let’s think about it this way…If we all believe we can change the world for children, then we will change the world for children. Fewer children would experience homelessness…fewer children would experience hunger…fewer children would experience abuse. So, I challenge each of you. Be the voice that so many children need. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Don’t turn a blind eye! You could be the very reason that one child or a hundred are given what they deserve…innocence, happiness, and safety!