Friday, December 17, 2010

People Making Our Christmas: Georgie and Lawrence Davis

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Way back in September 2009, Washington-area natives Georgie and Lawrence Davis were in a serious car accident on a trip in Wheeling, WV. Lawrence escaped with only bruising, however Georgianna’s forearm was badly fractured in two places and a wrist bone was separated from her hand.

The paramedics said it should have been worse. It was the first time in her life Georgie could not take care of herself, and she realized how much we all depend on each other.

As she lay in the hospital, Georgie prayed to God.

“I said, 'Lord, if you will continue helping me to heal and regain my strength and mobility--so that I can continue to do for myself and others--as a means of giving back to you, I promise to dedicate these hands to making a hundred hats for the homeless,'" Georgie recalled. As a child, she had learned the art of crocheting and knitting from her mother.

As it turns out, knitting was very therapeutic for her recovery. The repetitive motion helped her circulation as well as with muscle memory and repairing damaged nerves. Georgie went all out to live up to her promise to God and heal herself.

And so, in the mysterious way that the Holy Spirit moves us and brings lives from two different worlds together, Georgie was knitting hats and scarves for children who were growing up alone – children she had never met or even knew of. She was making gifts that parents who were homeless could give to their children, to help them have a warm and love-filled Christmas, despite every challenge facing them.

She knit while watching television with her husband. She knit on the long drives to and from Baltimore for physical therapy. She knit on trips to Waldorf to visit friends. Sometimes she was up until the wee hours of the morning finishing an item.

On average, it took her nearly three hours per hat or scarf, and a little less for booties for children. Trips started to be measured in hats and scarves.

By the time she finished, it was early December and she had made 102 sets of hats and scarves for a wide range of sizes – and plenty for infants and babies that included adorable booties for their tiny feet (go ahead and take a moment to look at the picture: awwww!).

I visited Georgiana and Lawrence’s home last week to pick-up the hats and scarves. The front door is covered in bright green wrapping paper – and it only gets better inside. They have two trees, both tastefully decorated for the season. The walls are decorated with wreathes and ornaments. Gift wrapping HQ is set up in the living room.

The hats and scarves and booties are being given to teenage parents and their little ones in our Teen Parent Program and to families recovering from homelessness in our Tenants Empowerment Network.

This Christmas, our parents who are overcoming so many challenges in hopes of living an independent life, have a gift to share and some warm clothing to put on. Our work at Catholic Charities is made better by hundreds of people just like Georgie and Lawrence, who reach out and give what they can, and turn a bad situation into one filled with hope.

During the Christmas season, we are especially grateful for their good health, for their charity and for such nimble fingers!

Are you feeling inspired this Christmas? Let us know how you can make someone's life better in the comments section or email us - we can certainly use your talents at one of our programs!