Whatever the contributing factors are, all over the country you'll find families, veterans, runaway youth and re-entry populations who call cardboard boxes and the underside of bridges home.
When Sofie Hoolhorst, a five-year old girl heard about a homeless man on a freezing night in another state, she motivated her family to join her in an effort to collect coats and blankets for those who were homeless in her home city of Nashville.
Five-years old and she’s concerned about those who are homeless. Where does that come from? Trust me. Five-year olds are not naturally overly generous. These kinds of responses from children are the direct effect of family members who talk about helping others and parents who involve their young children in conversations that point out ways to alleviate hurt and provide for others’ desperate needs.
When it is a family goal to be a help to others, children soak it up like a sponge. Then, when they are confronted with an opportunity to respond they jump at the chance.
So when Sophie wanted to help, the Hoolhorsts’ put the word out and collected donated coats and blankets. Then they walked the streets of downtown Nashville to meet, greet and provide for those living outside in the cold, giving birth to a movement called “Let’s Warm Nashville."
The Hoolhorst legacy is one of imaginative effort on behalf of others—expecting nothing in return—unless, of course, you count a deep feeling of contentment and peace. How great is that?