Interesting story told by the author about her helping the homeless. It was touching that she took the time out of her busy schedule to do this with friends. It made me see homelessness in a different light.
When Danielle Steel's new titles come out, it's not a matter of IF they will hit the NYT Best Seller list, it's how quickly they will rise to one of the coveted top 10 spots. She lives in a world populated with wealthy people, black tie dinners and paparazzi. It seems like she should be inured to the every day trials and tribulations that the rest of us deal with because she is one of the "beautiful people".
Yet beyond the glossy book jackets and publicity portraits, Steel belongs to some very elite groups, one of which is comprised of parents who have chronically ill children. Her son, Nick, was bipolar. And she also hsa membership in another, even more select group of people,that of the famous parents who lose a child through suicide. And in working through that terrible pain, she produce a book about her son's life, "His Bright Light". Still, she felt there was more to be done.
"A Gift of Hope", one of her most recent releases, chronicles her efforts to help those most in need. They are the throw aways, the homeless that drift through our nation like so many disposable plastic bags in the wind. Her son, Nick, often would reach out to those homeless or unfortunate who came across his path. Steel honors his memory by her efforts on his behalf.
This book is not about "Look what I did!" but about "Look, this needs to be done - anyway you can." She freely admits they took risks giving away things to the homeless. And it wasn't cheap by any means. And after 11 years of doing this, she now is using her platform as one of the best selling authors in the U.S. to shine a very bright light on the issue of homelessness which is increasing daily.
For me, the book was an encouragement. Economically, it's been a struggle this past year. But I've still been able to contribute to a local charity bank. Yet, there were times when I've wondered if I was even making a difference. Steel answered that question for me. It's a resounding YES! Thank you, Danielle, I needed to hear that.
Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2012/12/a-gift-of-hope.html
A Gift of Hope sounds like it would be the title of a Danielle Steel novel. Her books are often about characters in difficult situations finding hope and finding a future. This book, however, is not a novel. It is about real people in extremely difficult situations who don't always find a way to the future. This book is nonfiction, and it is about the homeless.
A Gift of Hope is about the "Yo! Angel" homeless outreach team that Danielle Steel started, funded, and worked with for eleven years. The project grew out of a need to cope with her son's suicide. It started with Danielle Steel going out into the San Francisco streets at night bringing care packages - jackets, hats, gloves - to the homeless. It grew somewhat more organized, but not much bigger because to protect her privacy, the project operated through her private funding and independently of any outside support. It ended for the same reason - it became unfeasible to fund. Perhaps, that is the reason for this book?
I find this book difficult to assess. It draws attention to a critical area for our society - how to most effectively help the homeless - from prevention to support. As such, it is an important book. As a book, however, it got repetitive, and the tone was a little removed. She does say repeatedly throughout the book that Yo! Angel gave to the homeless without asking for anything in return. Without asking even for their story. However, this book needed stories to develop that personal connection.
I do hope that the book draws greater attention to the plight of the homeless and that more help can be given.