When Family Promise Chicago North Shore was opening several years ago, a volunteer listened to Founder Karen Olson’s story about meeting a homeless woman, Millie, on the streets of New York City and going on to create the organization that became Family Promise nationwide. That volunteer, Lois-Eve Anderson was inspired to write the following poem after Karen’s talk. Lois-Eve said, “Karen Olson’s response to the need of that woman in the doorway, and what has grown from her action, reminds me that in spite of seemingly overwhelming odds, one person can make a difference. It’s again the choice before us all: curse the darkness or light a candle. And sometimes, the candle becomes a flame that lightens a multitude.”
We first published this poem in Hospitality, our national Affiliate newsletter, in celebration of the Chicago Affiliate’s grand opening. But its message remains just as powerful today.
Thanks for your beautiful words, Lois-Eve.