Monday, October 31, 2011

A Place to Belong

When you were a teenager, did you ever feel lonely, rejected, unloved, unlovable, or maybe even like the world would have been better off without you? I did, despite having had the benefit of supportive family, a few good friends, and a lot of advantages that I took for granted. Being a kid/teenager is hard - your body is changing, your brain is developing, things are changing so fast that you can barely keep up, let alone manage all of your thoughts and emotions.

Now imagine that you are going through these changes, thoughts, and emotions, and your family can't be counted on, at all. You have been abused, maybe in every way possible. What do you do? Where do you go? For a staggering number of kids and teens, there is only one answer - you leave, you run away, you figure the streets are a better option than your home. Most street kids are homeless because the homes they left behind were so bad they could never go back. Many are homeless because they CAN'T go back; they've been kicked out or they're unwanted. Maybe you know someone like this, or maybe you can even relate if you have a difficult background. Did you, or would you have wanted, some place to turn? A place where you would be accepted, to get a hot meal, and relax in the safety of a comfortable environment. A place you could watch a movie or surf the internet for a little while, and just be a kid. A place where you were made to feel welcome, and like you matter. A place where you belonged, no matter your current situation or your vices.

Sox Place, in downtown Denver, is this sort of place. They offer a place for the homeless young people of downtown to drop in, eat a meal, relax, feel welcome and safe. It is a Christian organization, but acceptance of the homeless is not based on desire to be saved. Anyone is welcome, everyone is made to feel valued. 

Sox Place is 100% non-profit, and they do not accept government aid. It isn't one of those charities that you hear about from time to time, where the guy who runs it shows up to work every day from his million dollar home in his brand new BMW. No one is getting rich from Sox Place; in fact the man who started it draws no salary. He isn't doing good works because he wants money or recognition; he does good works because he feels God has called him to do so. Because Sox Place is non-profit, all costs such as the rent on their building, the small salaries of a few employees, keeping the power on, etc, come from private donations.

If you or someone you know, would like to help out a really great charitable organization, please contact me and I'll get you in touch with the right folks at Sox Place. In addition, their annual fundraiser is coming up on November 3. It's at Comedy Works south in DTC. Tickets are $75, and can be purchased online or at the door. You can also check out their website for more info on how you can help. If you can't give anything, please just pray for Sox Place, if you're so inclined. Pray for generosity of donors and that God will continue providing the methods for this center to keep their doors open.

Please consider giving this holiday season, whether to Sox Place or to another charity of your choice. The holidays are so often consumed with what we're getting and even what gifts will make our friends and family think more highly of us. Let us never forget those who don't have homes to go to or families to shop for.

Disclaimers: I am not employed by Sox Place. I do not have any stake in Sox Place. I was not asked to post this or compensated for doing so. My husband's uncle is the person who started and runs Sox Place, and the center is very much a family affair. I have seen first hand the good that they do, and I want to assist in any way possible with keeping the doors open. If I did not believe so strongly in how good and necessary Sox Place is, I would not have made this post.

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