Remembering Carson’s own Christmas story
For the Appeal
She had been deserted at the worst possible time. The young man whom she trusted had decided that he would not support her, and now she was pregnant with his child.
There was a family in Reno who wanted a maid and offered her a place to live, along with a small salary.
The trip from Southern California to Reno took just about every penny she had and when she arrived in Reno, the job did not pan out. A member of the Reno family who had now deserted her said, “I’ll help.” So the two young women started out from Reno in an old car not really knowing where they would go.
They got as far as Washoe Lake State Park that cold night. An old tent warmer might keep them warm enough, but alas, it malfunctioned. The car caught on fire. In a little while they found themselves walking toward a town called Carson City.
The sun had risen and a church steeple invited them. They went into St. Teresa of Avila for warmth. Candles were still burning and all alone, they knelt to pray.
A little placard announced that charitable requests were served at FISH, 138 E. Long St.
When FISH opened that morning, two hungry, cold, desperate young women were waiting.
In a short time, FISH had placed them in Carson City’s homeless shelter – FOCUS House. They slept for several days. Within a week the one who was able to work had secured a job. But the income was small. FISH was happy to provide shelter for these two, soon to be three, homeless women.
Several months passed and the delivery date was fast approaching. Prenatal care had been provided. Everything was ready.
On Christmas morning, I received the phone call. Carson City’s population had just increased by one. A baby girl was born.
Carson City has been kind. These young women were able to purchase a moderate residence. The baby girl grew. In a few years she will finish high school.
This sort of reminds me of another story from long ago, of a young woman who gave birth in a shelter for homeless people and animals.
• Monte Fast is director of Friends in Service Helping and a member of the Carson City Ministerial Fellowship.