Rihanna finds the ocean comforting. Aminah likes flower gardens. “Flower gardens are pretty,” she said Thursday afternoon in Trinity’s Parish Center.
Both girls are among the more than 23,000 children living in shelters in New York City. While they may not have a permanent bed they can call their own, Precious Dreams Foundation is giving them a little something to comfort them at the end of the day.
The foundation provides items like teddy bears, journals, and pajamas at "Comfort Drop" events around the city. About 30 children received gift bags at Thursday’s Comfort Drop in Trinity’s Parish Center, beginning a new partnership between Trinity and the Dept. of Homeless Services (DHS). Future collaborations will involve more Comfort Drops for a wide range of ages and music education and experience.
“Comfort items are things that make you happy, make you smile,” explained Que Harrison of Precious Dreams. “What are your comfort items?”
The children listed off a wide variety of comforts: Hugs, dogs, a deep breath, shoes, the sky.
Volunteers from Facebook, which also provided the gift bags, handed out the pillow cases and markers and helped the children draw pictures of their comfort items on the fabric.
“I love these activities,” said Harrison. “It gives the kids something to do.”
The volunteers, participating in Global Causes Day, handed out the gift bags filled with stuffed animals and books and other items. Each bag is customized according to age and gender.
Comfort Drop events were also taking simultaneously at three other locations in the city.
“This is our first time doing four at one time,” said Harrison. “We’re expanding.”
Jermaine Tai provided a little piano music, and also gave a mini-lesson to Bryan.
The gift bags may be a small thing, but without the structures of home and stability these kinds of items can help build resilience.
Before taking their gifts with them, a few of the children explained what they had drawn and why.
“My comforting thing is God because I know I can trust him and talk to him whenever I need to,” said Tori.
“I wrote love and peace,” said Tyleah. “Friends can give me peace.”