Stand Up DC #2 – Update #2

Hello Friends & Family!

Please enjoy the following updates from Diana Ratner, one of the teens on our trip!

Stand Up D.C has been such an amazing experience for me. I came on this trip with the hope of learning how to better understand the struggles that homeless people face on a daily basis, and also how I can help. Before the trip, I had some experience helping homeless people, but this trip has given me a whole new perspective on the issue. One experience that really resonated with me was when we got to hear the stories of two homeless people, today at the National Coalition for the Homeless. Listening to their stories made me realize that despite all of the terrible things that have happened to them, they still have the desire to do good for both themselves and the community. One of the speakers was sexually abused at a very young age by some family friends. Then, she ran away from home, because her mother did not care about what happened to her. Upon turning 16 she had her first child, and eventually she had 3 more children. After already experiencing so much trauma, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Nevertheless, she was able to push past homelessness, and it is truly amazing how happy she was today. She was so pleasant and friendly, and even showed us pictures of her grandkids, and cool art that she has made. Now, she is helping spread awareness about the issue of homelessness, by sharing her story with groups like us. Hearing her story really showed me how resilient people can be, and also made me realize how much we take for granted on a daily basis. The experiences I have had the past few days have changed me as a person, and have changed the way I think of homeless people when I see them on the streets.

More updates soon!

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