‘5000 Blankets’ Will Warm Your Heart

Billie Jo YoumansBy Billie Jo Youmans3 Minutes

On any given night in America, over one-half million people are homeless, and a large percentage of them are mentally ill. The numbers are so massive, it’s easy to lose sight of the individual tragedies and nearly impossible to see solutions.

That’s why we need the eyes and the heart of a child.

Eight-year-old Phillip didn’t know the statistics, but he knew his daddy’s mental illness had caused him to leave and live on the streets. After a night of searching homeless encampments for his dad, the contrast of the cold night air and his warm bed weighed on the child’s heart.

As his mom tucked him into bed, Phillip asked, “Mommy, do you think those people are warm?”

Softly she whispered the heart-breaking truth, “No, baby, I don’t think they are ….”

With the clarity and innocence of childhood, the ministry, Phillip’s Wish, was born. “We need to get blankets – lots and lots of blankets to warm them up,” he stated emphatically.

That was ten years and thousands of blankets ago – and now the story of how God turned their tragedy into a triumph of love is coming to a theatre near you!

For just two days – December 12 & 13 – the movie 5000 Blankets will be in theaters around the country showing how a pit of pain can be transformed into life-giving purpose.

As the body of Christ, we have a tremendous privilege and responsibility in this tragedy that unfolds daily in every community. It is our hands and feet that must minister love to the hurting. Neither homelessness nor the mental illness crisis will miraculously disappear.

5000 Blankets can help us learn to love better in the here and now. It may inspire us to follow Phillip’s example – an example that sounds a lot like the prophet Isaiah’s description of the work of Jesus:

Each morning he’ll pull on sturdy work clothes and boots, and build righteousness and faithfulness in the land (Isaiah 11:5 MSG).

Phillip’s mom, Cyndi, took time to share with us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the heartache that has created a harvest of hope for thousands. Your faith will rise up as you hear her inspiring story. We look forward to hearing how God uses Cyndi’s story to prompt you to meet a need in your community or to triumph over a personal tragedy. Tell us your story.



Visit Phillip’s Wish (www.phillipswish.com) to find tickets to a theater near you.