The days after Christmas are some of the sweetest of the season. They are the days in which you hear all of the stories — ones about the gifts and the memories and “good tidings.” The standout stories are the ones rooted in generosity. The delivering of joy, the acts of service — the good deed done that somehow changed the course of someone’s day or perhaps even their life.
These are the stories that make you feel good, reminding you of what the season is all about. They’re the ones that inspire you to make a difference, their impact trickling into the new year and beyond.
This morning I read one of those stories. A story about Derrick and Ybarra, a Wisconsin couple who were, in a sense, gifted a house for Christmas. I would imagine being given a house is a pretty big deal. An even bigger deal when you’re homeless. The house is 96 square feet. Big enough for the couple that inhabits it. Possibly almost too small to contain the gratitude I imagine they feel.
Thanks to 50 Occupy Madison volunteers, the couple went from “braving Madison,Wisconsin’s often-harsh climate without a roof over their head” to having a home. The couple and members of the group sought to combat “inequality in the state capital” by constructing these small sized homes for the homeless.
The Tiny House Project creates small sized homes mounted on trailers. They can be legally parked on the street if moved within 48 hours. The homes have necessities including a bed, insulation, and a toilet. They have a pole mounted solar panel to power the house’s light and are heated with propane.
In a city where homelessness has significantly increased and where affording a home is out of reach for so many, this is a way to give people the gift of shelter. The organization has more plans in the works for this project. And although the couple was involved in the making of their “gift,” it seems its value to them is still quite evident (perhaps even more so).
The work this couple is doing along with other Occupy Madison volunteers will help lead to the creation of more homes for the homeless. And their story will fuel hope — hope that challenging circumstances can change. Hope in the kindness of others. Hope for the future. For more on this story visit Think Progress.
Photo Credit: Tammy Strobel (RowdyKittens) via Flickr
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