On the eve of his historic visit to the U.S., students, staff and volunteers at School on Wheels had the distinct honor and privilege to be part of a live audience with the pontiff, to be aired in a one-hour special edition of ABC News’ 20/20 on Friday, Sept. 4.
Pope Francis engaged via satellite with three different groups, including homeless men, women and children and those working with the homeless in Los Angeles.
The Pope was greeted with applause and cheers as he joined our group on a live feed from the Vatican. His words were filled with kindness and compassion and he listened intently to the stories from the audience as families and children told him about their struggles. One little girl told him she just wanted to have a house, and seeing her friends go through their front doors on her way to the shelter made her sad and ashamed about her family’s situation.
He expressed deep concern for homeless children and said that, “We all need a friend to help us through difficult times.” and that children in particular needed positive role models in their life.
We are proud to say that our volunteers are just that, positive role models in the lives of the homeless children we serve!
“Pope Francis is only the fourth pope to visit the U.S. and it was a once in a lifetime experience to be part of an audience with the pontiff,” said Angela Sanchez, former School on Wheels student and homeless children’s advocate, who was interviewed after the event. Catherine Meek, Executive Director of School on Wheels, added:
“I want the Pope to know that one in every 30 children – one student in every classroom – in America experiences homelessness each year. School on Wheels is helping homeless children in LA and throughout Southern California every day. It is not only a moral obligation of society but an economic imperative for these students to succeed in school.”
School on Wheels was honored to be part of the #audiencewithpope and we all left the event feeling a bit lighter on our feet!
For more information about this historic event you can check out ABC’s news link here – http://abcnews.go.com/International/pope-francis-holds-virtual-audience-americans-abc-news/story?id=33435436