Little girl

Last night I was at the border a little girl caught my eye so I stopped what I was doing and went to get warm clothes on her. Her whole body was shaking with cold. Her clothes were wet from rain and she had all of her hair pulled in front of her face, hanging down to fully cover it. She was completely solid and the expression on her face was anger and hate – not toward me or anyone in particular,but just toward life in general. If I moved her hair away from in front of her face, she immediately put it back. When I tried to put gloves on her hands she did not move her fingers or do anything to help; she was almost catatonic.

I picked her up and took her into a heated shelter that’s been set up for women and children. As I tried to get her out of her wet clothes, she was uncooperative and unresponsive. I began doing some mimicry with her (I copy her actions and she copies my actions, like a game). She got right into it and within minutes she was laughing, exuberant, flailing her arms about playfully, offering me up gestures to mimic, and mimicking mine with ease and fluency. She began to fully co-operate as I got her out of her wet clothes and into new dry winter clothes provided by our group. She was giggling and smiling continuously while I warmed her up with my hands and breathed onto her toes to get the chill out of them.

When we rejoined her father I showed him a paper I have translated into Arabic which explains that the warm clothes are paid for by donations we collect from average everyday people, and asked if he would like to have a photo taken to thank the donors. He not only heartily agreed, but looked at me with absolute gratitude and began saying “Thank you!” (the only word he knew in English) over and over and over with total and utter sincerity. I think he said it 10 to 15 times.

Here you can see a photo of this little girl and her father. John Mappin, whose name you see in the photo, was one of the first larger donors to Winter Clothes for Refugees. He funded clothing for this little girl and many others. Thank you again to John and to everyone who is helping!

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