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Miracle on 4th Street

Thank you to everyone who participated in my drive to provide a real Christmas to the Purple Room family. Last week I went to the apartment of the family to present all the gifts and gift cards and I was able to see first hand who we were helping and why.

The Purple Room Family

Here is Mama Purple Room, her twins girl -hello! Adorable! and her son Andy -those eyes! This family which includes a husband, sister, brother, sister-in-law and a few random others live in two one room apartments in the same building in downtown Los Angeles. If you’ve been to LA, you know that living downtown is no bueno – it’s not Manhattan. It’s dirty and scary and it’s where you would find bank buildings and skid row. It’s not appropriate for families. Years ago, someone had the bright idea to try to make it cool to live downtown with a plan where everyone would buy lofts for cheap and within a few years downtown would be transformed into a Gen X/Y utopia with gorgeous Twenty Four Hour Fitnesses and Fresh and Easys on every block. Naturally there would be fabulous restaurants opening every five seconds featuring famous chefs from Paris and London. The whole thing would create an affordable and safe alternative to the way LA is now, spread out in every direction for miles and miles.

That never happened. What happened was a few people bought lofts and then the LA riots threw everyone into a state of panic and people hightailed it back to to the suburbs, back to safety.

Except some people do live downtown -people like my Purple Room family. In the one room, there were two beds and a crib taking up the whole thing. The twins co-sleep even though they are already big girls but there would be no room for another crib. There’s no room to walk besides a narrow pathway between the wall and the bed (which in the picture you can see we blocked it by putting a single chair there to sit on). There was a teeny tiny kitchen area where the grandma was making up a big batch of chicken to feed all the relatives who were visiting from Guatemala. Yes, all the relatives came to visit and STAYED THERE because apparently it’s better than their situation back home.

When I walked in with Elby and another mom from Mattie and Sadie’s class, I was floored by the way they lived. But they weren’t sad. They were incredibly thankful for the mother-lode of goodies we brought but I could tell that if they never got a single thing, their son would’ve still had that beautiful smile on his face and that light shining in his eyes. I sat and spoke to the mom and I found out that her twins were born at 28 weeks gestation. One of the girls was one pound at birth and the other was three. The smaller girl was an IUGR (Intra Uterine Growth Restriction) baby. I sort of relate. Yeah, just a bit. The mom’s brother told us that in Guatemala, the babies would have died and probably Purple Room Mama as well due to the circumstances of their birth. So he was just grateful for the fact that they were in America, where hospitals don’t turn people away in emergencies, he could have cared less that they lived downtown in one room. I was just dumbstruck that our preschool room was matched with this family, that you all out there helped me to help them. I could have cried but it wasn’t appropriate.

Thanks to all of your help, we were able to provide over a thousand dollars in gift cards for grocery stores, Target and gas. They got high chairs, walkers, car seats, tons of clothes, the work boots, blankets, shoes, toys and more. The other families from our preschool also were able to use some of the donations for clothes, books, games, blankets and food as well. We were able to donate two bicycles for one family, plus baskets filled with food and goodies for every family. This was truly a miracle.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank everyone who helped. It was a beautiful thing.

I have one more shout out for now and it’s for I Love You More (The Sydney Ives Foundation). Someone who donated asked me to plug this website because they are doing great things. I checked it out and ended up crying so be aware.

One more thing, I am not taking anymore donations. I’ve received a few that I had to refund because everything’s already been delivered to all the families. I plugged a lot of charities over the last few posts so check them out and consider giving there.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on December 29, 2010 9:36 pmUncategorized16 comments  

16 Comments

  1. rebecca said,

    And look how chunkalicious the babies are now! They’ve come a long way from 1 pound an 3 pounds!
    rebecca´s last blog post ..Fluffy Kittens and Sparkly Butterflies

    | December 30, 2010 @ 12:42 am

  2. Robin O'Bryant said,

    This makes me cry. What a blessing you were to this family, to use your platform to help them! You’re good people, girl!

    | December 30, 2010 @ 1:01 am

  3. Sue said,

    Reading this made my day – thanks for going all out to help the Purple room family!

    | December 30, 2010 @ 1:16 am

  4. Kirsten said,

    Oh, this made me cry.

    | December 30, 2010 @ 3:09 am

  5. Ellie said,

    Made me cry, too. THANK YOU, Stef, for sharing this family’s story with the world and letting us lend a hand.

    What a beautiful family!

    -Ellie
    Ellie´s last blog post ..Its An Inside Job

    | December 30, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

  6. Redneck Mommy said,

    Oh those girls are so beautiful. Jumby was born at 25 weeks and one pound four ounces; it is lovely to see those babies all big and beautiful. And the boy. My heart just squeezes for them all. Thank you so much for doing this and allowing me to participate. You humble me Stef. Well done.
    Redneck Mommy´s last blog post ..Wishing You Sugar Plums to Dance In Your Heads

    | December 31, 2010 @ 12:20 am

  7. Brandi C said,

    So Awesome!!! They are absolutely beautiful! I can’t tell you how proud I am to be a small part of the blogosphere and the incredible things that we pull off. Thank you for organizing & for not being afraid to make us all aware of how much WE really have to be thankful for in our own lives.
    Brandi C´s last blog post ..Melodic MondaysWhen White Boys Come to Dance

    | December 31, 2010 @ 12:26 am

  8. Deanna said,

    Yeah. What Robin, Sue, Kirsten and Ellie said. Oh and Redneck Mommy too …

    | December 31, 2010 @ 12:28 am

  9. Susan @WhyMommy said,

    What a beautiful thing to do!

    The children are wonderful and look happy and I’m so, so glad you were able to help them! How wonderful!

    Susan
    Susan @WhyMommy´s last blog post ..The mini bike

    | December 31, 2010 @ 12:32 am

  10. Steph said,

    I am so happy, actually touched that so many people came together to do this!
    I am proud to be able to say that I was able to help.
    People are amazing!

    | December 31, 2010 @ 1:36 am

  11. Last post for 2010! « NAOYP said,

    […] I took a peek over at Stefanie’s blog and here’s proof that one person truly can make a difference in the lives of […]

    | December 31, 2010 @ 1:50 am

  12. Heidi Ferrer said,

    YAY YAY YAY!!!
    Heidi Ferrer´s last blog post ..Scary Movies

    | December 31, 2010 @ 1:51 am

  13. Erin@MommyontheSpot said,

    Awesome!

    | December 31, 2010 @ 7:39 pm

  14. Elle said,

    Oh, how I love the faces of children with that wide-eyed acceptance!
    Elle´s last blog post ..When the Going Gets Toughthe Tough Get a Plan

    | January 3, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

  15. Lisa said,

    It was wonderful to see the family and I’m so glad to have been able to pitch in. Thanks for connecting us. I hope they thrive in their new country and surroundings.
    Lisa´s last blog post ..January gardening

    | January 5, 2011 @ 1:28 am

  16. Kristina said,

    You are a blessing. It would be cool to do this monthly. am sure a lot of people will help. It would be Christmas every month.
    Kristina´s last blog post ..Learn more about how to deal with health issues while traveling Great article from our team on the Sleeping On Buses Blog

    | January 6, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

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