Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Annual Christmas Day "Mama Doe" Candlelight Vigil: A Legacy of Hope and Opportunity for the Homeless Population in New York City

David Williams, Ready, Willing & Able graduate
George McDonald, Founder and President, the Doe Fund
This Christmas morning, the annual candlelight vigil to remember "Mama Doe" was held at Grand Central's main concourse. 

"In the 1980s, George McDonald, Founder and President of The Doe Fund, befriended an elderly woman known only as Mama. One of the hundreds of men and women who called Grand Central Terminal home, Mama spoke little English but was loved by all who knew her. It was during this time that George trekked to Grand Central each night, handing out sandwiches, fruit, and milk to those who needed it most. For more than 700 nights, he brought not only nourishment, but concern, comfort, and care. On Christmas Eve 1985, George visited Mama to give her an early Christmas present — a purple scarf to keep her warm in the harsh winter weather. When he returned on Christmas morning, he found the scarf next to Mama, who lay dead on a bench. Driven from Grand Central by transit police the night before, Mama had slept on a subway grate in an attempt to stay warm. When the Terminal opened in the morning, she crawled back in and eventually succumbed to the elements and the circumstances of her life. Soon after, George founded The Doe Fund in her memory. Mama Doe did not die in vain — she was the spark that lit the first candle of hope for the homeless population in New York City. The Doe Fund launched "Ready, Willing and Able" in 1990 to use paid transitional work and a holistic, individualized service package to catapult individuals into the workforce and out of cycles of homelessness, crime, and addiction. Every year on Christmas Day, The Doe Fund celebrates the legacy of hope and opportunity inspired by Mama Doe with a special candlelight vigil in Grand Central Terminal's Main Hall."

You can help by clicking on the The Doe Fund website from which the information above was taken.

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