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Letter: And? So?

Anna Ryan re helping the homeless at Christmas

Published on September 15, 2017 12:01AM

Some of us come wired better than others. As a case in point, while the rest of us do OK, homeless people seem to lack basic living skills. And, as if programmed to self-destruct, homeless people appear purposefully to take the wrong road at every juncture in their lives. This leads many onlookers to both divert their eyes, and reserve their acts of kindness for those who don’t set themselves up to fail.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is more deserving of our sympathies, according to some. The homeless are unworthy, unfixable, and flat-out unlovable, the hardcore say. And? So? Among God’s children, it is the least lovable who need love most. What’s more, it’s a common but monumental misconception that all homeless people deserve their plight.

Blessedly, the help given the homeless by Clatsop County is bountiful in its mercy. And specific to the shelter residents at Helping Hands Re-entry’s Seaside Emergency Relief Center (, not even Santa Claus forgets the homeless in their misery during the holidays. This is because a tiny band of self-appointed volunteers have seen to it. With bells, Santa Claus caps, seasonal ditties and jokes, they show up every Christmas to both hand out gifts, and give the shelter residents hope.

The first Christmas had taken shape to offset dread of the holidays spent alone. The takeaway was so curative that a partner in “doing good” has helped faithfully since then. Christmas 2017, in honor of Candi Ross, will mark the fifth consecutive year that “loving the unlovable” overcomes, while its purveyors take away an abundance of indescribably buoyant joy.

Please join us in our annual servitude to the perceived least of the least. As one of the “Christmas for homeless shelter” attachments, I can attest that you will forget your worst circumstances, feel on top of the world, and enjoy Christmas like you didn’t think you could. Planning is in progress now. Thank you; and God bless you in advance.

Anna Ryan



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