Clothing the naked

You might remember my asking for clothing donations for a family of five children. Well, today, Sunday, we delivered those clothes.

We ended up bringing two duffle bags full of kids clothing; we handed out every single stitch… and it was no where near enough.

We went to nine different homes and delivered just a few pieces of clothing to each one. You never get used to seeing the poverty; you become hardened to it as a defensive mechanism, but you never get used to it.

One family had nine kids, most of which were running around only in underwear. They each have one outfit they can wear when they leave their home, one. The only reason they have it is that we gave those to them in July of last year. We only gave them a few pieces for the youngest children; the older ones (8-11 years old) got nothing because we simply had nothing to give them.

One mother came up to us as we were about to leave one of the homes we’d delivered clothes to. She held a naked 18 month old in one arm and had a 24 month old walking with her with only a pair of panties on. She had the saddest look in her eyes when she simply asked: “Do you have anything I can have to put on these two girls?” She had three others aged 3-7 but the two youngest had never had any clothing, other than the panties the 24 month old had on.

How do you tell her you have absolutely nothing you can give her. The answer is, you can’t. We figured out how we could take two pieces from the plastic sacks we had that we were about to deliver to other homes and give to the mother. Andréia told her that we would have more in just a few months, then turned to me and hopefully asked, “right?”

There are times when you’d really like to be somewhere else…


2 responses to “Clothing the naked

  1. I can get you LOTS of clothes. Would you like me to make a few phone calls? I could probably get a lot of 10-12 year old girl clothes and 9-12 boy clothes as well as 2-3 year old girl clothes and 4-5 year old boy clothes. Will we be able to carry all this? I will pack lightly and carry some of the needed clothes in my luggage if you’d like. I would love to do that for them!

  2. “Lots” of clothes is a very good thing — just ask Paul if you have any doubt (he, too, thinks we can’t gather enough clothes to fill the need).

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