Merry Christmas, Everyone. We hope this finds you and yours well and in the spirit the holiday season. H*Art Gallery TN, a 501c3 non-profit where homeless and other non-traditional artists can show and sell their work is also a place where miracles are happening. And it’s the story of one of these miracles that I’d like to share with you this Christmas.
It started back in March when I went to visit Brother Ron Fender at the Community Kitchen where a lot of my artists come for services and food. I was waiting for him outside his office and a man offered me his chair. It began a conversation about art and the man said he liked to draw. I got some supplies for him and thus began my relationship with Jim. Fast-forward to September when an article was written in the local newspaper about the mission of the gallery and four of my artists were featured. It told the story of what art is doing for them and how it has given them hope and happiness. One of the artists featured was Jim. Last Friday Brother Ron received a phone call from a woman claiming to be Jim’s daughter. She said she wanted nothing from him other than for him to know that she loved him and he could call if he wanted. When I told Jim he said he didn’t have a daughter. Then on Wednesday Jim and Brother Ron called the woman and as it turns out, she is his daughter. She was conceived back in the days of sex, drugs and the like. Jim went off to Vietnam and was never told about the pregnancy. Yvonne had pictures of Jim and her Mom from those years and had been told about Jim. A month or so ago she decided to Google his name and the article came up. She lives outside of Jacksonville and has a son and daughter, making Jim a Dad and Grandpa all in one day. She’s invited Jim to come for the holidays and he accepted. I went with Jim yesterday to clean out his campsite and collect his belongings. She has purchased him a plane ticket; he leaves this week. I don’t know the ending to this story but the beginning is a true Christmas miracle.
In closing I want to thank each of you who have supported our gallery through prayers, time, supplies, purchases and donations. Together wonderful things are happening. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.