A boy in need of a hug

*praying for the right words...*
     I work with kids. I come across children just like yours and mine all day. Sometimes children I don't know, just walk on by. Which means I either don't work with them or have never been in their classroom. It's impossible to know everyone personally. Sometimes though, a child just grabs you and you don't know why, until one day...you do.
     I met one such boy one day and we became hallway friends. I'd see him, he'd smile, stop to talk about little things at first. "Hey, how's it going? How was your weekend? How's school"...etc. Then one day recently, it hit me when I saw him meandering the hallway looking about...he's actually looking for me. My interactions with him are something he needs, something he's looking for. I started to give him more time, listened more, stopped leading the conversation and let him just talk freely. That's when I knew why we had become friends. I am a woman, a mother figure, support, a friend to him in one fashion or another.  Through his sharing, I learned his mother's life ended tragically as did some of his siblings.
     I'm not even sure what I can share with you, other than to say this child has seen more devastation at the hands of another person, than some of us ever will and right now he is considered homeless or what is known as having transient living arrangements. He's under ten years old... The other day when I met him in the hallway, I could tell he was pondering what he was about to say to me. He asked me something which struck me later. I got a lump in my throat so big it caused me pain and tears.
     "I only get the best hugs from you."
     "Do you need a hug today?" I asked him.
He nodded his head.
I reached my arm around his shoulder and pulled him in to my side tight.
He didn't pull away from me for the longest time. Then shyly said "thank you" while looking down at the floor and walked to class.
It was the end of the day, in some sense I felt I was just doing my job, reaching out to a child in need. I sat in my car before I left school replaying what he said as it resonated in my mind. Only then did I realize, I had NEVER actually given him a hug before. When I approached him in the hallway and could see his wheels turning, he was just trying to find the best way to ask for a hug, without actually asking..."Oh Dear God, to be so young and have such loss...What can I do for him?"
     I'm writing to ask anyone who reads this for help, a donation, a gift card for gas, or groceries, $1.00, $5.00 anything to help the person who cares for him at this time. I don't know how to set up a pay pal account, so I'm just asking people who know me at this point. If you are able to help, send me a message and I will steer you in the direction where your kindness will help change the life of a little boy for a day, or for a lifetime.
     For those of you reading this who I don't know, let me just share that there are so many kids just like him who need help. Call your local school and ask if you can give to a family in need. I tried over the holidays to volunteer at a food shelf, but they were all full, which is great news! What I didn't realize was there was a child right under my nose who could've used my help.