Open Forum: Finding that ‘Godspot’
My friend Amy lives in a major U.S city. She struggles with a number of health issues, sapping her physically and monetarily. Once a month, however, she makes a bread bag full of peanut butter sandwiches and walks through neighborhood alleyways, passing sandwiches out to her homeless neighbors of all ages. I think of her as a “Godspot” in the world: a person whose actions allow others to see the light of God in a world that is sometimes dark and bleak. November is Runaway Prevention Month, and it is likely that some of those sandwiches went to youth who had run away or were homeless. The reality of runaway and homeless youth might have a slightly different face in Brainerd, Minnesota but it is still a very real situation. To that end, the Lutheran Social Service Youth Services division is sponsoring a November drive to collect food, personal hygiene items, hats, mittens, gloves and socks for local distribution to youth who, for a variety of reasons, have run away from home. LSS offers more than supplies. Trained staff work to establish trust with kids without judging them, helps them through the reunification process with their family, or finds safe housing if reunification is not an option. They meet with families in crisis to resolve issues so that families can remain intact. LSS Youth Services can be reached at 828-4383 or 1-888-828-4383. You can be a part of providing a “Godspot” for these youth by dropping off supplies at any LSS office, the Area Education Center in Brainerd, or the Crow Wing County Child Protection office on the third floor of the Community Services Building. Runaway youth are a reality and you can be a part of the solution.
Twila Ehrich-BeltonLSS Youth Services Advisory Board Member