‘I Missed Having My Own Bed!’
I never thought I’d take
something like my bed for granted, but when I was 12, something happened that
changed my perspective on everything: My family became homeless.
We had just made a
cross-country move only to learn upon arrival that all the plans had fallen
apart. We didn’t have enough money for even one bus ticket back home, and we
spent that first night in the bus station.
All through my teen
years, we usually stayed in shelters, and I often crashed at my friends’ houses
— “couch surfing” at a different place every night.
How the Army Helped Me
When I was 15, I started
working in the food pantry at The Salvation Army. The basketball coach at their
youth center got me to come out for the team. He became a real friend and
mentor, and helped me through some really tough times, especially when my mom
got cancer. He helped me get my diploma and, when I was 20, he got me a
basketball scholarship at a small college. When I arrived there, I was excited
about my future, but the thing that thrilled me most was having a regular place
to sleep every night. For the first time in eight years, I had my own bed!
But it wouldn’t have
happened without the help of The Salvation Army, and people like you who give
so generously. Thank you so much for your compassion!
2012 story contest.