In this life we cannot do great things.
We can only do small things with great love.
St. Mother Teresa
On the first day of our pilgrimage in Rome, we noticed that there were many homeless brothers and sisters. We felt really bad because we did not have anything with us to give them on that day. When we first started doing the “Gift of Hope” bags, we thought of doing it in every place we traveled to, but when planning our pilgrimage to Rome, we did not have a clear idea if we were going to do the “Gift of Hope” project. However, the idea became clear the first day in Rome, on our way to the Vatican, where we encountered several homeless people.
We thought to ourselves like St. Mother Teresa said,
"Each one of them is Jesus in disguise."
At the end of our first day, we went to the supermarket and bought some bananas and granolas bars. We also wanted to include a prayer card and another kind of fruit. Finding gift bags was a little bit of a challenge, we looked everywhere for them; until, we finally found a small store that looked like a 99 cent stores in the US.
As soon as we got to our hotel, the girls were eager to start assembling the bags, our daughter Sarah began creating the logos for the bags in Italian “Dono di Speranza” which means “Gift of Hope.”
Once the bags were assembled, we headed out towards the Vatican and gave out the bags to every homeless brother and sister we encountered. It was such a beautiful thing to see their faces light up when they received the pink bag. It was like a happy surprise for them.
One homeless lady, was rolled up on the floor with her face covered, one of my daughters left the bag next to her. On the way back to our hotel, we took the same street, and to our surprise we noticed that the woman who we gave the bag to, was sharing the orange we had given with two other homeless women. Her generosity touched our hearts, it was wonderful to see that she was sharing the little bit she had with her sisters in Christ.
Help one another with the generosity of the Lord, and despise no one. When you have the opportunity to do good, do not let it go by.
-- St. Polycarp of Smyrna
The following days in Rome, we brought a bag of bananas and oranges each day we went out and gave them to all the homeless people we saw. This experience was truly a blessing for us, we felt that we received more than what we gave.
"For it is in giving that we receive"
-St. Francis of Assisi
We wanted to share this wonderful experience with you in hopes that will inspire you to give a "Gift of Hope" to the poor around you.
God bless you,
The Kiczek Family