Michael moved in with me 2 weeks before school was to start. His father had burned nearly all of Michael's possessions. The WorldTeach paycheck I receive for doing orientation, which I was originally going to use to buy an ipod and external hard drive as well as start a savings account, became the Michael fund.
Since the only clothes Michael came with fit in 2 plastic grocery bags, I needed to purchase clothes immediately. His traditional school uniform and his National Honor Society uniform needed to be sewed. Sheets for his twin bed, toiletries, and school supplies all needed to be bought. Michael did not even have underwear when he came to his new home. As I began to freak out about buying a complete wardrobe for Michael, a prayer was answered.
The week Michael moved in, I was in training to learn how to teach an SAT prep class. I came to class on my birthday and mentioned that I was now a mother and began asking other teachers where they found cheap, but quality clothes. Donna, whom I have known since I was in utero, is the assistant director of OCIA, the office hosting the training, asked for Michael's clothes sizes.
The next day, I received a call from Donna, asking me to stop by her office. Donna greeted me at her office with a giant black trash bag. I was confused. Why was she handing me a bag of trash? Then, I looked inside.
Clothes. The bag was filled to the brim with name brand clothes, all in Michael's size. Other than, "thank you," I didn't know what to say.
It turns out that every year, Donna has her children clean out their closets and gives their clothes to Goodwill. When she heard me talking about Michael, she thought of her 3 different sized sons, and realized that her youngest son's clothes would fit Michael perfectly. Donna's family does not lack for money, so most of her son's clothes were name brand clothes that most families here only dream about owning.
That night, Michael looked at his new clothes with such excitement, it felt like Christmas morning.
That night, Michael slept on top of his new clothes, clutching some in his hands.