The Yonge Street Mission (YSM) is a local charity that I started donating to after my father-in-law passed away two years ago. He used to donate gently used clothing to them, among other help, and when he passed away, donations to the mission were suggested in lieu of flowers.
This placemat was sent out along with a donation form, and the YSM asked that you sign the placement with your first name and send it back to them with your gift so that “your personal message will be a blessing for someone who comes to us for a meal you’ll help provide through your support.”
What a cool idea, I thought. I especially love the message on the placemat, “May you be filled with joy, now and always.” Even just reading that made me smile. So sign it, I did, and put it in the mail today … only a couple of months behind schedule. 🙂
A Week at the Mission
The YSM sends out a regular newsletter to let donors know about all the programs they run, and one of my favourite sections is called “A Week at the Mission” … here are some of the stories that appeared recently:
• A prayer request: “I would like for the demons that haunt me to go away for today, for tonight. Please pray for me.”
• A story from Double Take: A man came into our store and gave the cashier $7. He explained that a year ago he had stolen a sweater. He said he knew it was wrong, wanted to pay for it and added that he thought we were doing good work. Before the cashier could reply, he had left the store.
• A donor’s note: “My wife and I appreciate the newsletter. Personally I was a ‘Cabbagetown boy’ in the ’30s, ’40s, and early ’50s, and benefitted greatly from organizations like YSM.”
• A lament from a Food Bank volunteer: “I wish we could give out more milk for the children but there just isn’t enough.”
• A comment after dinner: “Thank you for asking my permission to take my photo. I am homeless and I don’t want my family to find out – that is why I said no. But I appreciate that you respect my dignity and my privacy.”
• A Gift in Memory: People give to the Mission for a variety of reasons. One donor sent a bank draft and enclosed a note to tell us that her gift was in memory of her 5-year-old grey cat that had died recently. “I loved her very much and miss her greatly,” she wrote. “Thank you for allowing me to remember her this way.”
• A grateful mother: “My son took part in the new youth leadership program this year. The office in St. James Town turned out to be a place where the youth really want to be. Great work! Please keep this program going for the next batch of youth growing up in St. James Town.”
… and to everyone reading this, may you be filled with joy, now and always.