Stories of Kindness from Around the World

One Sign Of Hope

--by SequoiaProject, posted Sep 13, 2009

This week we took a handcrafted sign that we made down to our local Salvation Army and presented it to the captain. The sign read ‘HOPE’. He had an idea of where to put it as soon as he read it. The look on his face showed appreciation, with a touch of bewilderment.

This organization sees, first-hand, the struggles of so many people. The reason we made and gifted them the sign is to help lives, who are in need of believing in a better tomorrow. A simple word can say so much. Life dishes out hard hits and unjust situations for all of us, at one time or another. We hope for an answer, a change of circumstance, or even a miracle. Some are hanging on to hope with all the strength they have.

What would life be like living with no hope? What would the world be like? To best describe what it is, I decided to look at what it would be like without it. I have often heard ‘there is no hope’ for some people or circumstances. I do not believe it. I have seen both change.

We spent 6 hours making the sign. Each letter was cut out, sanded, stained, and made to spell out the word. You’d think that it would be hard to part with something we worked so hard on.  But, it wasn’t.  A car was filled with people outside of this building. Everything they owned was tied to the top. I felt bad that I could not give more. I wanted to reach in my pocket and give them the money needed. My pockets were empty though. I’ll probably never forget the looks of despair on their faces.

Some of these projects are so hard to do. To help, a person has to go right to where the need is most. I am not one who can walk away and pretend that I didn’t see someone hurting, look a different direction or look past like I have never seen a thing. I was asked by one of the people if I could help them out with some gas money. I told him that I was flat broke today and had brought only a sign saying the word ‘hope’. I felt stupid and clumsy. I was sure they were thinking that ‘hope’ would not fill their gas tank. The response I got back is one I will also always remember: “Thank you. Hope is what we need most right now”. With that our lives went two different directions.

What a cool project this would be for craft hobbyists. Maybe someone reading this will work on a similar project. The places that can use these simple messages are all around us. It will make a difference.

The Captain wrote a nice message to us, here is what it said:

“Thank you so very much. I read your post on the blog and was very touched by it and the comments posted by others. My plan is to palace "Hope" in our homeless shelter in such a way that it's the first thing the residents see as they walk in the doors, ushering them into a place of hope.”

--Capt. Brian

The response is what makes it all worth it.

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Readers Comments

Marilee wrote: Four score and seven minutes ago, i read a sweet article. Lol thnkas
irishgirl wrote: Hope for all! It is amazing how just repeating and remembering a simple word can bring you back to the heart of the matter.
Rajendra wrote: Hope is the strong thread that binds people and is just like oxygen to all to live
glorioski wrote: That is a terrific project, and so true. A single word when seen at the right time,has the power to turn a life around. Thank you for sharing your story, your compassion and your empathic heart with us. Feeling the discomfort of our fellow man is inevitable, since we are all one, but likewise providing hope converts that discomfort into so much more.
Kitty wrote: Hope illuminates dark corners of the world by simply opening your heart and allowing a light to let love, kindness, charity, and sweet hope pour in and out.
Romely wrote: Hope is the one last word that is keeping me alive. I will put "hope" in the school where i am teaching.

Thank you for this wonderful act of charity.
Harriet wrote: Hope is a powerful word. What a wonderful story.
The Sequoia Project wrote: Wow! These are some excellent views on hope! Sometimes it is so hard to describe. We try to go where the heart is telling us. Its not always easy but there are many rewards! Hope is alive in every corner of this world. The human spirit may bend in the wind of life but after the storms it was hope that kept it from breaking. Thank you readers.
Nse Victor wrote: Good thought. Hope is the only thing that keeps us going! Please keep the good work going.
Veena wrote: Hope is the last thing that dies in heart! So true!

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