Friends had a rich and rewarding experience supporting the final week of the new Safe Nights of Calvert County program, a community-based initiative dedicated to providing temporary shelter to the homeless during the cold winter months. During the last week of March, Friends joined with two local churches to provide food and shelter from the cold. A nightly average of eight participants, men and women, from infant to 70 years of age benefited from the generosity of a diverse community partnership. Friends provided meals and other support in cooperation with other churches in our county. One lady’s eyes welled with tears as she read a small placard that said “These cookies were baked for you by the children of Patuxent Friends Meeting.” The lady picked out a brightly colored, worm-shaped cookie but wanted to save it, so she asked to take another to eat. Those of us who were organizing and serving were deeply touched. Unfortunately, the program is now over, and participants worried about where they would sleep in coming nights. Safe Nights will return for a longer period in the fall of 2008, beginning in November.
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