Covenant House Alumna and her Children Deliver Hot Meals

Carolyn and Sky

After Carolyn had her baby girl, a nurse in the hospital gave her a brochure for Covenant House. She tucked it away and promised herself that if her situation at home did not feel safe, she would leave. Within a few months, she arrived at the doors of Covenant House New York with her baby and began her journey towards healing and independence.

Today, Carolyn is raising three daughters in New Jersey. Her youngest daughter, Sky, is not aware that her Mom and eldest sister once lived in a shelter for young families, so when she suggested that they share their Christmas meal with individuals experiencing homelessness in their neighborhood, it wasn’t because she felt an inclination to give back.

When Carolyn spoke with Sky about why she wanted to take on this project, it was clear to her that it was unconditional love and she just wanted the people she saw on the street to know that she cared about them.

For Sky’s whole life, Carolyn has been teaching her and her sisters that “everyone is capable of doing something. We all can do something to nurture the human spirit” and here was her six-year-old child showing her that these words truly meant something.

So, for the past few years, on Christmas Day, Carolyn and her family pack up 30-40 hot meals and deliver them to unhoused individuals on the streets near their home. Carolyn’s aunt joins them and she said, “We feed them before we feed ourselves. The same food that we eat is what they will eat. We will serve the food hot.”

While delivering meals, Carolyn takes notice of the way that unhoused people look out for each other. It reminds her of how she was cared for at Covenant House, where people were always looking out for her.

When asked how her experience at Covenant House influenced her life, Carolyn said, “Because I have been a misunderstood person for a really long time, I understand the importance of being seen and heard just the way you are, without any conditions. I try to see people in their nakedness without requiring them to mask up. It affords me the opportunity to connect with people at their roots.”

It is evident that the values of unconditional love and absolute respect that were a part of Carolyn’s Covenant House experience are now being nurtured in her own children.

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