When you and I were conceived, we had absolutely no power over who we were born to, where we were born, or what history would hold for our childhood. All of us here, were lucky enough to be born in hospitals with medical supplies, at the right time of our region’s history to not be torn by war or disease, and grow up in countries that were relatively safe and provided education.
In the same random way, others weren’t so lucky.
I had this garbage bag full of my son’s clothes from last summer, standing in the center of my “room of shame,” (everyone has one, don’t deny it), for months. I couldn’t decide what to do with it, who needed its contents more, what organization, which orphanage Syrian kids, Greek kids, or my friend’s kid, which was the easiest way to go; she lives up the street.
And then, Ali came my way. Born in Afghanistan, untreated properly for jaundice, he’s mentally and physically disabled, and just a year or so younger than my son. I hauled the bag into the car, took my son by the hand, and went to meet the forever-involved and helping Elisavet Papoutsi, who would pass on the clothes to the child. I looked up the family’s story, Ali is the middle child of three, with an educated, charismatic, strong father, who was forced to take his family on a treacherous journey, and arrive at a camp here in Athens. (read full story here:https://kimmie53.com/2016/05/08/sayed/#more-6060 and here:https://anettesaw.com/20â€¦/â€¦/10/refugee-crisis-and-war-faces/)
The donations we make are usually impersonal. We don’t know who wears the shoes, who’s fed with the $50 we donated to charities.
“Mommy, what’s in the bag?” Stef asked.
“Your small clothes, we’re giving them to a child that doesn’t have any.” My three-year-old nodded in understanding, it wasn’t the first time in his very short life that we were giving his things away to those in need. “HIs name is Ali,” I said.
“Ali? Ok, we give to Ali.”