I recently made use of the books supplied in the squads, and thought I’d share the story with you!
On January 2nd, I (along with my FTO Mike Hanson) responded to the Madison Bus Depot on Bedford to help a woman and her four children. She had traveled from the Chicago area to Madison on a whim to get away from an abusive boyfriend. She said that she spent Christmas with family, but he ‘caught wind’ of that, and she was fearful of what he might do to her and her children. She said that she heard Madison was a good place with good schools and decided to pack up all their belongings and move here. She arrived with no ties and no idea of what to do.
We assisted her by giving her numbers to the Salvation Army and Battered Woman’s shelter, but we didn’t feel right leaving the area until we knew what would happen to her and her children. She has twin 3 year olds (boy & girl), a 5 year old boy and an 8 year old girl. All the children were very polite, well spoken, and appeared to be happy to just be with their mother. While she was on the phone with the agencies, I thought to give the kids some books from the squad!
I came back with the bag, and had them each pick out a book. Their faces immediately donned smiles and they almost lined up to get a book! The eldest daughter picked out the journal, and said that she wanted to keep track of her ‘new life’ in a new city. The younger ones picked out Dora the Explorer books, and delightfully explained each of the characters to me. While mom was making additional phone calls, the youngest girl asked me to read her book to her – which I did, and the eldest daughter and I took turns reading pages to her. It was an ‘interactive’ book with flaps, and we had fun finding out what was under the flaps. Both the mother and children were very thankful for the gesture of the books. Even the other patrons in the Bus Station wore smiles as I was reading and talking with the kids! I left feeling better about my job knowing that simple contacts aided with things like the donated books can really make a difference. Mom ended up making contact with a social worker from the battered woman’s shelter and was able to find housing for the night. I welcomed her and her family to the area, and left her with my card and asked her to call if she needed any additional assistance.
Thank you to you and the donors of the books, I hope this little note can help show what a difference the books made!