True Heat Comes From a Warm Heart
Days ago, in the midst of a cold snap, before closing time I strolled
through our lobby and noticed a young man with a specially trained dog. His
doctor’s office suggested he visit us for assistance. He heated his tiny
efficiency apartment by turning on his oven and opening the door.
A tearful case worker in our office gave him her own space heater. I offered
to buy her a new one but she refused, explaining that she too must help in
her own way.
Before long I knew most of the man’s story. He recently moved to Lincoln and
was struggling with the side effects of his cancer-related treatments. He
was wearing two tee shirts over a light jacket. “Father, I’m from Wisconsin
and know how to ‘layer up!’” “How are you going to get home?” I asked. “I’ll
wait for the next bus and take it home,” he replied. I knew it wasn’t good
enough at 2 degrees (and a wind-chill of 20 below) and his labored
breathing. After hearing we were there to help he said in a relieved tone,
“Thank you! I don’t know what I would have done otherwise!”
Because of some generous donors, I was able to give him a warm winter coat
with a hood in his size and, along with some food from our pantry, we loaded
up one of our vans and headed to the pharmacy closest to his home. After
paying for his medicines, we arrived at his apartment. His possessions
included an old sofa, a small stand, a broken frying pan, one pot, three
plates, one knife, one fork and several spoons. Because of the small size of
his apartment, it didn’t take long for the space heater to do its job.
He was even more relieved when I said, “We’ll be back, with a table and
chairs, a dresser and hide-a-bed, bed sheets, blankets and items for the
kitchen. We will also help turn your gas on so you will have real heat!”
Needless to say, he was grateful and overwhelmed. I was grateful as well to
Almighty God for sending him to us and decided to call his doctor’s office
to thank them for their referral.
Lastly, I was grateful to all of our benefactors - for their prayers so we
can continue this ministry of loving Jesus Christ who lives in the poor and
needy; for their material donations, i.e., furniture, appliances, clothes,
coats, house and kitchenware, etc; and for their cash donations which allow
us to help with rent, utilities, grants for counseling etc.
I knew that if it wasn’t for our generous donors, this would never have
As I left this young man, I was relieved that he would spend the evening
safe and warm, with his needed medicines and a full stomach. Soon he would
be able to sit at his own kitchen table and sleep on a mattress with the
basic amenities that we all are tempted to take for granted.
Thank you all once again and know that we at Catholic Social Services pray
for you every morning at 8:30.
2013 Southern Nebraska Register Publication Dates
(Resume Jan 4, 2014)
November 27 (Wed.)