Saturday, December 11, 2010

Shop With A Cop

The cellphone alarm crankily threw its wake up alarm at my sleeping ear. It took me a while to separate my dream from reality since the music became a part of my dream that I cease to recall. My eyes creaked open and my hand scurried to find this obnoxious noisy object so it could be silenced. After all, two of my roommates still wanted to sleep. The other had already flown out of the room like a sleepy summer storm. It was six thirty in the morning.

Within thirty minutes, Alysha and I were in the newly scraped off car driving 45 minutes to a high school. We had agreed to be Spanish translators for the program Shop with a Cop. We were groggy and tired. Miraculously, we made it to this high school that neither one of us had ever been to. If you know Alysha's driving and my navigating skills, you would understand why this type of arrival is so very miraculous.

Upon entrance into the high school, we were overwhelmed by a huge mass of humanity that was somehow carefully organized in family groups. Little ones were everywhere complaining in English and Spanish. A prayer was said over the program while the families enjoyed juice and donuts.

Eventually, we all relocated to Walmart. At this destination, each family was paired up with a cop. If one had gone to this particular Walmart on this specific Saturday morning and walked to the very back of the store, this person might have been stunned by the long line of families that took up more the half the wall. Another line of Police men and women, firemen, and emergency workers was created opposite the line of families. Where these two lines met in the middle of the store, stood a woman with a list of names of families. She connected families with their cop and sometimes inserted a translator into the mix.

Of the children of these families, there were about three hundred. Each cop knew exact the amount of money to spend upon each child in these families. It was quite the orderly process.

Although I was a translator, truly I got to practice my English skills more than my Spanish. The mother, Elbia, who was pregnant had her three daughters with her and they were bilingual. The mother could understand English as well. I was more or less another set of hands and another heart to love on this family.

The girls piled pink sparkly clothing into the cart while the cop wrote down costs. The youngest daughter played hide and seek with the cop while the middle daughter asked me what the cop had in his belt. She was far to shy to ask him herself. I asked. The eldest daughter stayed by her mother's side and aided her as she found clothing for the girls. It was a happy occasion as the girls found clothes for themselves.

Shop with a Cop. (i didn't find any articles written about the Shop with a Cop program that I participated with. however, this is the gist)

The most that I did during this Saturday morning was drive an hour and half round trip, become a part of a delightful Hispanic family for an hour, watch a person's dream of caring for neighbors happen, and become dreadfully slap happy once the lack of sleep hit me. Honestly, I did nothing this morning. Yet, I did see a dream happen. Somebody saw a need. Somebody dreamed a dream. Somebody acted. Now, many somebodies get blessed because of that first somebody.

Most of my morning was spent standing and watching the wheels of this program work. And I am thankful.