by Lyne Pitts

It was delivery day and at a few stops, the older children were sent outside to help us carry in boxes and bags, stuffed full of spring and summer clothes. The younger children waited inside, always keeping an eye out for toys which quickly disappeared into a shared bedroom.
One tiny boy looked up at me, excitedly shouting what sounded like ‘sick-lee, sick-lee, sick-lee’. His older sister translated – bicycle. Ah, yes, ‘we will be bringing the bicycles next week.’ I already knew which little blue bike back at my house had his name on it.
Clearly the extended winter weather had taken its toll. Children were clamoring to get outside in the sunshine. Mothers and fathers were longing for lightweight clothes and sandals. The seasons change, the need accelerates.
Maiken and I had customized the deliveries for each family. But now, able to see the refugees for the first time, we knew we had more work to do. A 9-year old girl might not fit the 9’s and 10’s we brought. A 12-year old boy had legs much longer than I expected. Some moms were larger, some dads thinner. And everybody needed more shoes.
So we will pull in a few more donations and deliver again.
Knowing that the smiles will be wide, the hospitality generous and if the only phrase they know is ‘thank you very much’. we will hear it again and again and again.