Back in the 80’s, our local newspaper sponsored a program called Clothe-A-Child. Residents donated money to clothe as many needy children as possible during the holiday season. My husband and I volunteered to take children shopping.  The directions were to use the allotted funds to buy a warm outfit plus winter coat, hat, gloves and boots for each child. We were allowed to buy one small toy per child with our money, but were strongly discouraged from spending more than that. 

We drove to a rundown neighborhood on the rough side of town.  The house had no curtains at the windows and little paint on its rotting exterior. The porch boards felt unstable as we walked to the door and knocked.  A pretty, pencil-thin woman with long dark hair and a baby on her hip opened the door.  An older man and woman sat on folding chairs at a formica table watching a small, black and white television. A young man sat on the bare floor with his back against the wall. The house was immaculate, but there was no furniture.