In the Fall of 2013, our brother Phillip (21 years old at the time) was to have emergency surgery on his spine at the Shriner’s Hospital in Philadelphia. Phillip had been diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome at birth. As a result of this complex syndrome, he developed (among other things) Kyphosis, which is a growing forward of his spine. This condition compromised his breathing to such an extent that he would die if surgery was not attempted.
The surgery took fifteen hours to complete. After surgery, Phillip experienced many complications including serious infection, pneumonia and a collapsed lung. Phillip spent over three months in the Intensive Care Unit at Shriners.
Our Mom and Dad (who were staying at the hospital) spent much time in prayer. This was not their first rodeo regarding hospital rooms, for Phillip had been hospitalized on many occasions throughout his life. But, according to our parents, this time was different. It appeared God was changing them from the inside out.
Everyday, they would walk around Philadelphia. They recall how there seemed to be so many homeless people. As expected, our parents were constantly being asked for change. My dad began to ask, “What do you need change for?” Almost always, the person would respond “I’m hungry.” Our parent would then say, “Why don’t you let us get you something to eat?”
Day after day, my parents would sit with these individuals, listening to their moving stories.
After our family’s return form the hospital and being told the amazing stories they had heard, we decided that we needed to play a small role in helping these individuals.
We began buying small backpacks and filling them with necessaries such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, emergency blankets, combs, bottles of water, food and other items. When we would drive around and see a homeless individual standing at an intersection asking for help, we would simply open the window and hand them one of our backpacks.
We could not believe the responses we received from showing just a little kindness towards them .We received countless smiles and sometimes, even tears. Some would immediately open the backpack like a child opening a Christmas present. We realized, as we watched these unexpected responses, that we received more joy from giving out these backpacks than the person who actually received it.
We decided that we needed to begin making these backpacks and giving them to organizations and churches so that they too could experience the joy associated with this small act of kindness. Thus, “The 2540 Project” was born.
The “2540” is inspired by a verse from Matthew 25, which states,“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:40, NIV)
Our family ministries, www.the2540project.com along with www.phillipslovebears.com are part of a non-profit 501(c)(3) faith based organization called The Hands of Christ Ministries. Thus, any donation is tax deductible.
Please join us on our journey.