In May, Peace Love Progress asked readers to help fulfill items on the Cardinal Shehan Center “wish list” in order to spread more joy to their campers. The article below gives insight into what it was like to deliver those items.
I parallel parked on the crowded street in Bridgeport, rain pouring down my windshield. Even with the highest wiper setting at full blast, the torrential downpour was blinding. Getting out of my car, I bent my body over a cardboard box filled with camp donations, hoping to keep the playground balls, swim goggles, sidewalk chalk, and bottles of bubbles dry; failing as the rain changed direction and pelted me with a powerful, sideways force.
I ran up the steps of the Cardinal Shehan Center, trying to not slip; my wet, rubber flip flops squeaking with every step. Pushing through the front double doors, the patter of the rain gave way to the familiar sound of children playing in a gymnasium. Across the lobby, double-doors were propped open. I could not see anyone from where I stood, but the noises brought me back to my youth: school days, sneakers screeching against the polished floors, basketballs bouncing up and down the court, children laughing and calling their friends’ names.
Enthusiasm filled the air. Everyone was inside on this gray day, and they were enjoying themselves regardless.
I was directed to a large office, where two women greeted me from behind their desks. We discussed Peace Love Progress. They were curious as to where these donations came from. I explained our mission to promote compassion and spread happiness in every way we are able. While we typically share articles and spread love via social media, we also strive to make a tangible impact in our communities. The women excitedly accepted the box, confirming their campers would put everything to good use.
As I meandered out, the children’s’ voices grew muffled behind the closing door. This time, I walked through the downpour, no need to rush. I smiled. Despite the rain, my day was drastically brighter just being able to make this delivery. In fact, if not for the rain, the campers may have been outside, and I would have missed out on the condensed chatter echoing throughout the lobby.
Thank you all for donating, and making a difference.
The Peace Love Progress team thanks you all, too. Reading and sharing our content, and donating to our causes–or those of some of the groups who’ve written for us–continues to make a positive impact. Thank you!