Sunday, December 24, 2023

Charity Sunday for Kids on a Journey – #Immigration #Home #CharitySunday

Charity Sunday Banner

Merry Christmas! Thank you for taking a few minutes from your holiday activities to visit and participate in Charity Sunday. Normally this monthly event would be scheduled for next weekend, the last Sunday in December. However, yesterday I received an email from KIND – Kids In Need of Defense.


KIND logo

KIND has a very specific mission, which is to support unaccompanied migrant children trying to settle in the U.S. Both circumstances and legal constraints can tear migrant kids away from their parents, leaving them alone and defenseless at the borders. KIND provides both personal aid and legal assistance, helping these youngsters navigate the complications of immigration law and ideally, to reunite with their parents or guardians. The organization also advocates in legislatures and courts to promote sustainable, humane immigration policy, and works with origin countries to address the root causes that cause people to leave their homes.

I’ve been contributing to KIND for a couple of years now, mostly through Charity Sundays. On Friday I got an email informing me about a limited time opportunity. Between now and January 31st, all donations to KIND, up to a maximum of $350,000, will be subject to a 4X match by an anonymous donor. So I moved this event a week earlier, in order to collect the largest number of comments.

As usual, I will donate two dollars for every comment I receive on this post. So KIND will receive ten dollars total for each.

Talk about a Christmas gift!

Meanwhile, to thank you for your time and effort, I have an excerpt from my holiday short story Slush. Enjoy!


Slush book cover


Hot shot Boston lawyer Ian Pierce has everything but peace of mind. Christmas Eve finds him alone, wading through the slush to his BMW so he can drive back to his lonely luxury apartment. Then everything goes black. He awakens with an aching skull to find himself in a freezing, boarded-up garage occupied by a street kid. At first he blames the dodgy-looking youth for his troubles, but before long he realizes the raggedy girl who rescued him from the gutter may well be a Christmas angel in disguise.


The oratorio should have soothed him. Instead he just felt angry – at Lily, at the fat guy beside him who kept elbowing him in the ribs, at the prospect of waking up alone on Christmas morning. Before the choir took its bows he’d slipped out, eager to avoid the chattering, festive crowd.

He’d emerged to discover the snow had turned to sleet, icy and treacherous. The streets were already slick. Chill, gray slush was all that remained of the lovely snow. Perfect, he thought. Just right for the way I feel.

It was hard to walk, hard to see. He’d been stewing in the poison of his dissatisfaction. He should have been more aware of his environment, but he’d been contemplating the stale comforts of his luxury condo: a hot shower and a double whiskey.

He had his car key out, he remembered, had just been about to disable the alarm when the pain exploded and everything went dark.

His car!

You say you found me near a fancy car? A silver Beemer?”

The kid pulled off his mittens to warm his fingers over the flames. “Sorry – I wouldn’t know. I really didn’t notice. I was busy trying to get you into my cart.”

Ian patted the pockets of his fleece-lined leather coat, then shrugged it off his shoulders. Finally the place was starting to warm up. “Did you find my keys?” He rifled the pockets of his soaked trousers, with increasing urgency as he discovered every one was empty. “Where’s my phone? My wallet?”

The youth looked up, face rosy from the fire. “The muggers probably took ‘em. Anyone can see you’ve got plenty of dough.”

Panic seized Ian by the throat. His iPhone, his Cartier watch, his Hermes wallet, all gone. No money. No credit cards. No way to communicate with the outside world. “How – how do I know you didn’t steal them?” He lunged toward the figure near the fire, sure he could shake his belongings out of those rags.

That stare, stripping him to the bone. That laugh again, like a crystal bell ringing in the cramped, stuffy ex-garage. “Come on! If it was me who ripped you off, why would I bring you back to my place?”

Drained by his sudden exertion, Ian collapsed back onto the lumpy mattress. “Ah – um – of course you’re right. Sorry. Thank you. I do appreciate your help, really I do. I’m just tired, and disoriented, and so thirsty...”

The kid retrieved a chipped mug from one of the crates piled up against the wall, filled it from a spigot above them, and handed it to Ian. “Here you go.”

Ian sniffed at the liquid before he took a sip. It smelled a bit musty, but he needed it too badly to care.

I managed to score some aspirin today, too. Think you could use it more than me.”

His host popped two white tablets into Ian’s palm. He peered down at them, dazed.

By Jesus! You think I’m gonna poison you?”

No, no, of course not.” He washed the medicine down with more of the water. Somehow he felt better already. “You’re very kind.”

The young man shrugged once more. “Anyone would do the same.”

Not me. If I saw you lying in the gutter, I wouldn’t look twice.

The thought gave him more pain than the throbbing lump at the back of his head. Was it really true?

Lie down. Rest. You hungry?”

Ian interrogated his battered body. “Um – no, I don’t think so.”

Well I am. Gotta get out of some of these clothes first, though. It’s getting pretty toasty in here.”

The kid yanked off his woolen cap. Ian gasped as masses of fine golden hair spilled down over those narrow shoulders.

You – you’re a woman!”

Yeah – you didn’t know?” Her peals of laughter made him blush with embarrassment. Rage simmered underneath. No doubt she thought him a fool. It was so obvious now – the slender body swaddled in second hand sweaters, the little hands, the delicate features and fair complexion... But who would have expected to find such a pretty girl in a place like this?

Please, don’t forget to leave a comment! And if any other authors have signed up for the Charity Sunday blog hop, I hope you’ll visit their pages as well. (Given the last minute organization, I might be alone. But my fellow authors may well turn out to be Christmas angels, too!)


Tina Donahue said...

What a wonderful charity! I can't imagine how scared these poor kids must be coming to another country without their parents or families. We should be doing everything to keep them safe and happy. Happy holidays to you and yours, Lisabet. :)

Anna Taylor Sweringen said...

Great charity and lovely excerpt. Merry Christmas.

Colleen C. said...

Happy Holidays!

GothicMoms said...


Author H K Carlton said...

Another well-meaning cause. Thank you for bringing KIND to our attention.
Merry Christmas, Lisabet. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful charity to support
Merry Christmas 🎄 Happy New Year

Ornery Owl of Naughty Netherworld Press and Readers Roost said...

A wonderful charity and a captivating snippet. Happy holidays!

Sacchi Green said...

I'm glad to know about KIND. I hadn't come across Kids in Need of Defense before, although I should have if you've been mentioning them. I'll make a contribution..


Happy Festive Season and the New Year of your wish for you and yours, dear Lisabet.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, everyone! I'm about to go donate $20 to KIND, before the year ends. AND I just got an email from them, noting that their match commitment has gone up to 6X for the last two days of the year! So your comments have generate $120 for kids looking for a better life. Thank you!

Dee S Knight and Anne Krist said...

Sorry I didn't get this comment in before the end of the year but hope it will count. I'm off now to buy Slush. Happy New Year, friend. I hope 2024 is a better year all around.

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