Today the temperatures dropped to single digits and snow dotted the streets of downtown Philadelphia. Gray and bitter cold. Yet, it was one of the most invigorating and enlivening Valentine’s Day I have ever had. “Love”, “Connections”, “Heart to Heart”, “Meaning in Life”… all words on thousands of Hallmark cards but this past month, they were reality.
Students, staff, parents and grandparents at Sandy Run Middle School all came together to knit almost 200 scarves for the homeless. Bright colors, dark colors, multi-colored…all so very warm with a heart shaped message attached to each one. People were knitting during every free moment so that these harbingers of caring warmth could be delivered today, Valentine’s Day.
Sean, sitting on the street, was so grateful and asked for one for his girlfriend. One woman began to cry saying that it was so very cold today and the colors made her feel better. As the scarves were passed out, people who never met were now connected. Good wishes exchanged. The givers received and the receivers gave.
Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, located at 25 S. 11th Street has recently received attention from the Ellen Show and NBC Nightly News. Mason, the owner, left a job on Wall Street to open a pizza shop in Philadelphia. It has become the epitome of “Pay it Forward”. Customers buy a slice and donate $1.00 for someone who is homeless. The walls are covered with messages of love and thanks. Today, those who came in were given something to eat and a hand made scarf to lessen the biting cold. In Gwanko’s words on Rosa’s wall, “I’m so happy to get to see people coming together and really making a difference in the community!” What a wonderful Valentine’s Day today has been!