As the woman began pulling the clothes out of the bag, I asked her if they were having hard times too. She replied that her and her two children had just arrived here with barely the clothes on their back. Her man - fiance? boyfriend? - she didn't say- worked contract jobs in construction and he had not been able to find work in awhile. The woman and her two kids had made the decision to leave New Orleans and join up with the man to start a new life. This man from her younger years. I listened politely while quieting the questions that were piling up in my mind. She abruptly ended her story after a side glance from her man and I wished them well. Inside I hoped she was following her dream to be with the love of her life. Silently I wished a beautiful road for them to follow as we distributed clothes between us.
As I walked to my car, Melissa told me about her reasons for giving things away. She had years of accumulation of just things, in-laws who had moved to Arizona who had dropped off many of their things, two teenagers who were outgrowing clothing and toys, a toddler and a baby who no longer needed so many things and a leg cast in a lovely shade of pink that was slowing her down. Melissa and her husband determined they really didn't need the couple hundred dollars they would make from a garage sale and decided to give to those in need instead. So Melissa posted an ad on craigslist and then gave out the address by email to those she thought were truly in need. Beautiful.