This is part three of a four-part tribute to Hannah Hawkins. Read the first, second and fourth parts.
There is a verse in the Gospel of Matthew 25:35-40:
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’40 “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.’
Hannah Hawkins was the embodiment of this Biblical passage. It was her call to action and in this way, she succeeded as a champion for those with the greatest of need. While children ate a meal, they received tutoring. When she gave food to young, single mothers, she dispensed advice. When she fed the many homeless men that gathered near the center, she provided a listening ear for their troubles. When she came to the food bank, she provided encouragement for the staff here. She would tell us, “Keep doing what you are doing, it is helping out there.” Believe me when she said that to you, you stood a little taller and if you were having a bad day, it got better. Ms. Hawkins had that ability to bring the best out in both the people she served and who she worked with. Hannah Hawkins had her own children, but no matter who you were, you knew you were a “child of hers.”
When you visit the Children of Mine center, you will not see a great cathedral, you will see a building that has seen better days. If you had the privilege of meeting Ms. Hawkins you would not believe that she, so small in stature, used that building to feed, clothe and encourage thousands of children, families and seniors in her community. She was a tireless champion of all her arms could enfold.