There are days when you get a word of “Thanks” and you know that you are in the right place at the right time of your life.  Two weeks ago I had a few of those days.

I attended a luncheon for a wonderful group of Lawyers and staff at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, with one of our precious moms from URM’s Hope Gardens Family Center.  O’Melveny & Myers LLP had gathered food, gifts and clothes for Union Rescue Mission.  They overwhelmed us with gifts!  Our mom did a wonderful job of sharing, she said, “Before I came to Hope Gardens all of my dreams were deferred, and I thought they were dead, but now my dreams have awakened and I am alive again, studying to be a nurse.”  It is hard to describe the joy I had inside.

The next day I received this letter from another mom at Hope Gardens:

I am a resident at Hope Gardens and I am writing you to let you know how grateful and appreciative I am. Around this time last year, I was 7 months pregnant and sleeping on the streets. I was cold, scared, hungry and tired. I was too scared to ask for help. I thought that everyone had turned their back on me. I didn’t think anyone would even want to help me. Finally I got tired of the cold and hunger and asked for help. I ended up staying at the cold weather shelter in West Covina and then a couple of nights at West LA shelter until I was able to find a more stable place. If it wasn’t for the cold weather shelters, I don’t know where I would be. I hope others see them as much of a blessing as I do. Also I want to thank you for all you do. Your staff here at Hope Gardens are so caring and loving. I have never felt so much love in my life. It’s so overwhelming I want to cry. Not because I’m sad, but because I’m happy. I hope that others will be able to experience this happiness.

Last night I learned that the first mom who walked into our Burbank Winter Shelter on Dec. 1st, cold, afraid, desperate for help, and clutching her beautiful 5 month old baby in her arms, moved into the safety of Hope Gardens last week!

This is too much joy to keep within me, and I had to share it with all of you who have made these words of thanks possible.  Bless you, Andy B.

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