Connecting with Community

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Baby Shower

My eventful day begins with me picking up hygiene products, from storage.
I find myself west of town, I decide to stop and pick up another donated item
I park in the parking lot of a near by bank. I wave towards the window just in case the Lifechanger that works there can see me.
I grab my GPS and type in the address of the office I am looking for.
Instantly my GPS begins to speak, "you have arrived at your destination".
Annoyed I speak back to the GPS. Its not long before the office I am looking for suddenly
appears across the street.
A little embarrassed I get out of my car and head to retrieve my donated items. I leave there to go visit another hero, she works at a Resource Center.
It is not my favorite place to visit because it is a place that gives me great sadness. I hate to see people outside with no where to go.
I park and head towards the door, as I walk in I notice people waiting for food. It breaks my heart every time. It takes everything I have to make it up the stairs. Like the crazy person that I am I want to grab random people, hug them and tell them everything will be ok.

I am not there long when I decide to head to my office. I realize my morning has already been spent before I even make it to my office. To my surprise my office is bursting at the seams. Baby gifts cover the floor and I am filled with joy, unspeakable joy.
By lunch time I am in need of time alone. I head to Sonic, it is a place I often go to regroup.  

It was Monday when I spoke with Jessie. She is a Neighbor we have been helping for months. She is in a much better place than when we first met. Monday she spoke of never having a baby shower. This is her fourth and final
baby and call me strange but I think all mothers should experience the torture a baby shower brings.
Regardless of my reservations about this last minute baby shower, I send out a request.
Minutes later I begin to receive response. Many can not make it but they promise to
drop of gifts. My goal for this shower is to get four Lifechangers in the room.

Today is the day and it is now time to leave and head to the shower. I start to load up and make my way to RSVP, I am prepared to celebrate a new life. I arrive only to find more gifts. One by one Lifechangers begin to arrive. They all arrive with gifts. I greet each one of them with a hug and a kiss. My heart is full. 
I look around me and the room is completely full and we are struggling to find a place for all the gifts.
I attempt to speak to this room full of Lifechangers,full of Hope givers. I want to express my gratitude.
My cup is runs over and I am having trouble communicating what I feel. I am at a loss for words. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to share
this moment with so many Lifechangers. These Lifechangers got to meet, love, appreciate and hug this new mom. She was so grateful, she said she couldn't believe all this was real.
Thank you for blessing this unborn baby.
You gave so much. I am blessed because of you.

The giving of love is an education in itself.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Birthday Cans

The earth covered in a beautiful white veil, what a mesmerizing scene. Although I love the beauty of snow, I only enjoy it from  indoors. As I sit inside in my nice warm house, I take this opportunity to write and ask for food, before I head to work. This month I had a birthday and my request for gifts is that of cans, cans of food that is. I will call them Birthday Cans and I will use them to fill a small food pantry.

Today I arrive at the office earlier than usual. I dig in my bag in search of my badge. I fumble my belongings  as I struggle to get out of my car. My badge is most necessary as it is my access into my building.  I begin to mumble as to why the great lengths of security in my building. I imagine it would be easier to access the Pentagon. So early in the day and I am already complaining. I have no luck locating my badge, this means I will have to walk around  to the front of my building to get in. As I begin to walk I continue to rummage through my stuff in desperate search of my badge.
Imagine a purse, a book bag, my coat half on, my scarf dragging behind me, a drink in hand and a
scowl on my face. A sight I am sure.
In the alley between my car and the dumpster, I notice a gentleman walking in my direction. We pass
each other and he comments on my appearance. I reply with a thank you, smile and keep walking.
I am quite certain, God does things like this on purpose. He is continually working on keeping my attitude in check. I make it in the building and politely ask the lovely lady up front to buzz me in. She looks at me oddly and proceeds to let me in.
Another thank you and I chaotically stumble into my office. I start to put my things down and low and behold. Yes of course, I have my badge in my hand.
A few minutes go by and my first guest arrives. It is one of those new Lifechangers.
Happy and full of  joy, just for being able to help one of our families in need. As she walks in, she hands me a couple of Birthday Cans. A look of accomplishment is painted on her face. 
I don't think she realized, she was handing me my first Birthday Cans. It took everything I had not to
wrap my arms around her and sob like a baby.
I held back. Why? Well because she is a newbe and I didn't want my oddness to be so apparent.
Not that that has stopped me before!
Now I am sorry I held back and maybe when she reads this
she will know how significant those first cans were to me.
We sit down and our scheduled meeting begins. During our meeting, I don't know that she notices
but I never put down my cans. I hold them in my lap. I catch myself day dreaming as she speaks.
Dreaming of "what if". What if everyone was as quick to act as this newbe.
What if we all had an urgency to help those in need. I imagine the relief
these cans will bring to a family.
Through out the day I receive visits, emails and phone calls from Lifechangers assuring me
they will be sending Birthday Cans. I guess I should inform "my pentagon" that I will be receiving gifts.
Not flowers, nor candy or even balloons but cans, yes cans of food. I am overjoyed with your response.
I pray you are as encouraged as I am daily. I could not do with out your
encouraging words. Thank you for changing life's .
I am a huge believer in giving back and helping out in the community and the world. Think globally, act locally I suppose. I believe that the measure of a person's life is the affect they have on others.
Steve Nash

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chuck Norris

My day starts with a visit to our neighborhood food pantry. I am received with a warm hello
and a set of hands, ready to help me unload. I have many bags of birthday cans in the trunk of
my car.
Missy speaks of the families she helped last week. She was happy to report that there
was enough food for all. She sends a thank you from herself and the families that were feed. 

My next appointment is at 10:00, that gives me a few minutes to stop by my office.
I strutt into the building with out incident. As I walk down the hall, I can hear my
phone ring. I begin to run. Can I reach the phone before it stops ringing? I will
certainly give it a try.
I must of  looked much like my clumsy boxer, ears flapping and feet stumbling in mid air.
I fall into my office and dive for the phone. Hello "this is Elia, How can I help you?"
I think it was a move Chuck Norris would of made. Hmm Chuck Norris or maybe Chick Norris
I think I like that. 
It was a family in need.
Maria is seeking a place to live and somewhere to work. This mother has three boys ages 13, 12 and 10. She called because she heard that we may be able to help someone like her. I assured her we would do our best.

I leave my office to navigate another Neighbor in need. I walk into the agency where I am scheduled
to meet this Neighbor. Once inside I notice a woman sitting on a couch. Before I can ask
if she is the person I am looking for. She calls my name. I answer yes and extend my 
hand to shake hers. She wraps her arms around me and begins to cry.
I thought I was the only one that did stuff like that!
I cut the hug short because I notice people staring. Not that this has ever bothered me before, but
I am really trying to make an effort to respect my professional surroundings.
After all Chuck Norris wouldn't stand in the middle of a waiting room and cry. 
It forget my professional surroundings and I reach out to and wrap my arms around her.
Here we stand, two grown women in the middle of the waiting room,
crying like a couple of toddlers. She digs her head in my chest and I gently pat her head.
The same as I would hold my own children.
I feel Hope, Hope divine. 
I tell her all will be well. She responds with a thank you. I look at her and I can not seem to compose
myself. I tell her she is on the right track. I tell her we will get through this.
I understand what this means to her and her children, I can see it in her eyes.
She has never been homeless before, she doesn't know what to do, where to go or how to get help.
I assure her that her 13 year old will soon have a bed of his own and a place he can call home.
This will allow him an easier road towards his education. He will no longer have to worry about
what he will eat and where he will sleep. He can now concentrate on English, math and science.
No, life will not be perfect but it will be better. 
Have I told you lately that I love you for all you do for people you don't even know and probably
will never meet.
Generosity is giving more than you can...
Khalil Gibran

Hope Captured

We have a family that lost everything in a house fire. They are no longer
without a home. You made Christmas possible for these children.
This working family had their car repossessed two days after they lost their home. A
Life Changer has gifted a car to insure she will not lose her job.
We had about 100 students that were not on a Christmas list. When you found
out...   you came through.

We have an elderly that has food to feed her grandson, because you took the
time to take her food.

I want to tell you about a joyous Christmas party.
I was blessed with the opportunity to invite our families to a party that provided Santa, gifts
and food.

I arrive early and sit in the foyer. I watch as the families arrive. It tickles my heart
to see and feel their hope as they walk in. I notice Vicki as she pleasantly watches as well.
It was such a nice time. I had the chance to hug and love on these families. I made sure
they knew how special they were. I told them how proud of them I was. They have had
a long year, but these families all survived. They are all in a much better place than they were
when we first met.

It was great to watch as they each took their turn with Santa. I could hardly
contain my self. One four year old child started telling her mom. "See mom
I told you Santa was still coming this year." She got out of line and ran to hug this
red suited fella. This 4 year old had not given up hope that Santa would come.
Indeed he had arrived. Hope captured.

As we were getting ready to leave. I spot Vicki again. I walk over to chat while I wait
for my boys.
I thank her for allowing our families to have this event at Central Church of Christ.
I tell her she changed many life's that night. She smiles as she removes tears from her eyes.
We begin to talk about homelessness. I asked if she would know what to do if she were homeless.
She replied, "no". She said she wouldn't know the steps to take in order to stay in a shelter.

She asked me the same thing. I  responded with out hesitation. I put no thought before I speak.
I speak as sure as the sky is blue.

I tell her I wouldn't be homeless because I have ya'll. I have Life Changers in my life
and that assures me hope and success. I am blessed because of you.

Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love.
Lao Tzu

My Attitude

I woke up late Tuesday morning. My eyes barely open, I turn to look at the clock and it seems to be flashing at me. It loudly reads 5:30, I should  already be in my car headed to my early breakfast. I slowly crawl out of bed and quickly  remember my ticket. My ticket is sitting on my desk at the office. Not quite the way I wanted to get my day going. I miss my first appointment and I assume that gives me permission to wear an attitude.

Monday, the day before, my phone rang as I was headed home. It was a Life Changer. She
called to ask if I had any use for several bags of food. She explained how they 
collected food for their families in need. Her group had already delivered to those families and still
had food left over. I told her I had many in need. I agreed to pick up the food.
Today is the pick up day, I head to collect my donated food. As I  head that direction, I realize my new attitude, needs some adjusting.

I arrive and park as close as I can. The weather seems to have an attitude of its own, because it sure isn't cooperating with me.
I arrive at my desired destination and I remember my broken hatch. One more thing to add to this cold and rainy day. I am not happy to be at  my 8:15. When I walk in they are happy to report that there is over 80 bags of food waiting for me. I should be elated, about the amount of food they have waiting for me. Nope not me as my attitude is still in charge.
All I can think of is my cars broken hatch. It will be a struggle loading that much food, in the rain.
Did I mention that it is cold and rainy?
Today I am wearing my white coat and I quickly realize that my coat will not survive this endeavor.
I walk to my car to remove my precious coat. I must work in the cold with out a coat, if I ever plan on wearing it again. All this aggravation for the sake of keeping my white coat white.
I hope someone is feeling sorry for me at this moment because I certainly am.

I finish loading and head straight to my office. I take out my list of people in need for the week.
It is not long before I know where the food should go. I leave for my first delivery.

My first stop is an elderly woman's house. I enter the house with bags of goods and our recipient
can't stop smiling.
She reaches for me, I receive a hug and kiss. I hug and kiss her back. I feel my attitude adjusting.
I go on to deliver to homes, apartments, parking lots and  I even deliver to someone in the middle of the street. The response is consistent, hugs and kisses from all.
The food I loaded in the middle of the street was in front of my office. The family that came to pick it up
got a ride from a friend. Before they drove off the driver stopped me as I was headed inside.
She smiled so gently with tears in her eyes and said "thank you for helping my friend".
Once again my attitude is changing.
At 5:15 my oldest son joined me to help deliver.
We stopped to pick up toilet paper because Del, an elderly woman has been doing with out.
I could see the sadness in his eyes. We arrive and he carries the food up the stairs. I  glance at him proudly.
He sets the bags on the counter and begins to stock her cupboard. She hugs and kisses him. My attitude changes.
Our next delivery is for a teacher and we agree to meet in a nearby parking lot. I drive up and park beside her. I can see her crying. Her shame is deep. I get out of my car and go to put my arms around her.
I tell her we all struggle and we are more than happy to help.  I introduce my self and quickly realize I probably should of done that before I put my arms around her. None the less, she is thrilled.
Her family will have turkey for Thanksgiving.

It is now 7:15 pm and my two youngest join me. We arrive at our next family's home. We walk in and this family has no words. I see my youngest struggling with the weight of his bags. The mother notices and grabs the bags to relieve his load. As he hands her the bags he relieves her burden. The mother embraces my youngest. My attitude changes.

It is now 8:15 and I am emotionally drained.
My last delivery for the day and I am joined by my oldest daughter. 
As we walk to the door. I look to my daughter and I am proud.
It is another elderly woman that is in need. She did not know we were coming. She answers the door with
a belt in her hand. This is her weapon, just in case we are intruders. Her neighborhood
is not as safe as it once was. She feels safe and we walk in. I tell her someone told us she was in need.
She puts her hands over her face. My heart breaks. My attitude changed to one of Thanksgiving.
My children became official Life Changers today and I am so proud and thankful.
I grew as a person today while helping those in need and listening to their gratefulness.
They all had one thing in common. They were all concerned with not taking to much so that
the others in need would have some too.

Thank you to all Life Changers. Thank you for cleaning out your cupboards from time to time, so
those in need can have something to eat.

There was a little miracle in those small bags of food. It was like God made sure that what each family needed was in those bags. I wish all of you could of been there to experience the gratitude.

I have found that among its other benefits,
giving liberates the soul of the giver.
Maya Angelou

My heart is full

Life Changers you are amazing and today my heart is full. I have had a
crazy blessed time since I spoke with you last.
of. You fill my heart.

First let me thank you for all the phone calls, emails, texts and personal visits.
Thank you for your giving hearts. Thank you for making sure our families are
always taken care

Back at the office my office gate keeper, has total control of the chaos we call Grand Central Station. Pam is careful to take great care of all that is brought in. She always manages to get all the treasures you bring, to my office. Some days I walk into my office with no where to step. She is a Life Changer. She is changing lives with out leaving the office. My heart is full.

Lets talk about my SUV, it is as full as my office. It looks like a garage sale on wheels. Some of the donated items i
n my car are; peanut butter jars, socks, feminine product, wrapped toys, breast pump, blankets, knitted caps.
I may need to start wearing jeans and a plaid shirt just to play the role.

Today while at work, I answer the phone again ready to gather our troops. This phone call is different. It is a call from a local radio station, La Mejor. The lady on the other end is wanting to help our families with gifts for Christmas. She asks me to put a list together of about 15 families. I immediatly start to work on a list of 30.
I am an optimist. I arrive at the radio sation and begin to talk about our families. As I speak the room grows silence, I talk of Jane our homeless mother of 8. The atmospher is thick with saddness penetrating every heart.
They took care of 29 of our families. My heart is full.

These Life Changers didn't just donate toys but hey also delivered the toys
. They gave us money to care for needs other than toys for Christmas. No that wasn't enough because they also loaded up with food to take our families in need.
Santa will have a hard time topping all that. My heart is full.

This same day another Life Changer comes in, wanting to help a family in need.
I begin to tell her of our current needs and she quickly decides to help the family who
just lost their home in a fire. She recruits a friend to help and they do a great job out shopping Santa. These Life Changers volunteer to go with me to deliver.
We drive up to our families new humble home. They anxiously await our arrival.
As we begin to unload the family expresses their gratefulness. Hugs all around.
As we were leaving the family assures us that someday they willpay  it forward.
Our hearts are full.

I love you and I hope your heart is full...
                                Spread love everywhere you go.
              Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
                                          Mother Teresa

My Lipgloss

For over a week I have struggled with severe chapped lips.
Yes I am whining. I am pretty good at it.
I usually buy chap stick but my daughter suggested I consider color
on my lips. Since I am experiencing a touch of mid life crisis,
I take her advice. My next visit to Wally World, I purchase some lip gloss

with a tint of color.

A week goes by and I am still suffering from chapped lips. I blame it on the loading and unloading, I've done so much of it here lately. Maybe my chapped lips are due to inclement weather.
I don't know but I have been applying my new color gloss multiple times a day.
Ladies you already know where I am going with this.
Why I write about my blunders, I don't know.

Today in the midst of my vanity, I take a close look at my color gloss.
I had a couple of compliments on my colored lips, so I decided to inspect the label

on my gloss. This would allow me to know what color of gloss I am wearing.

I read carefully and to my surprise I am wearing "plumping gloss". Are you kidding me!!!
If you don't know what that is. Let me explain It is a gloss with some type of irritant,
some say snake venom. It has enough irritant to give you a fat lip.
I have been feeding my lips snake venom for over a week, no wonder
they were irritated...

The phone rings, before I answer I decide its best to put my vanity aside. 

It is Eddie, a social worker that needs help with a family in need.
I tell him I will send out a request for help. My plea goes out to our
Life Changers. I explain that a family's house has been mistaken
for a drive thru. It is cold and scheduled to snow, we are now in panic mode.
The plea is answered and a couple of Life Changers are causing chaos,
making it happen for this family.

It isn't long before Amanda calls me. She begins to tell me all that her family
has been through. Her family is homeless and they are living with her mother
until they can find a home of their own. She tells me, of how the car ended up just inches
from where her son sleeps. 

Later that night my phone rings it is Julie, Amanda's mother. She greets me
with a soft hello. She has called to let me know how much she appreciated the kindness. 
We chatted a while and as we were ending our conversation she began to cry. She is relieved that this day has ended. I couldn't help but cry with her because I too was relieved that this 5 and 4 year old have a safe place to sleep. I assure her I will check
on her tomorrow.

Back to my lap top, an email from yet another Life Changer. He is requesting help for a family in need. I am quick to responded with the certainty that our Life Changers will         respond with urgency
I dial the number that this Life Changer has given me, it is an elderly woman. Judy is her name and she begins to tell me of her daughter being homeless. She is pained by the fact that she can not house them. She is on housing assistance and is fearful of breaking the rules by helping her family. Judy is concerned that her 5 grandchildren will not receive a gift for Christmas. I tell her we will help. I ask the grandmother to give me the children's list.
Sadly these are the most desired items. They are asking for socks, underwear, bras, and feminine products. The children are 15,13,12,10 and 7. The need is great.

The degree of loving is measured by the degree of giving.
Edwin Louis Cole

My Heels

The thought of what to wear wakes me in the mornings. I wake and preform my morning rituals. Before I step out to take on the world. I slip into my choice of heels. What an energizing moment.
I stand in the mirror and tilt my feet just so. Today's choice, a closed toe black suede leather 2 inch heel.

Happy as a lark, I drop off my children at school. I go over my day in my head. First I go to pick up
a small hand made blanket that a Life Changer has donated to a hurting child. I take care of a weeks worth of errands before I head to the office.

It is after 2:00 before my heels and I make it in. I park in my usual spot. Headed towards the front door ,I smile as I hear click clack click clack, the sound of my heels on payment.  Finally in my office, only to find many emails and missed phone calls. It doesn't take long before I am scrambling to connect
Neighbors to resources. Hours go by and I am frustrated. I decide the villain here is Poverty.
I am tired of him succeeding with these families. I am just plain tired and Poverty doesn't care. 
Poverty doesn't  take a break.

Today I worked with Pearl, a young mother of  three with the fourth one on the way. She is homeless tonight. Her seven year old had a breakdown at school today. He doesn't understand why he can't go home.
I don't understand why so many can't go home.
Sis is also a mother of  three with the fourth one on the way. Sis was layed off due to lack of business.
Sis is looking for work so she can help her husband pay rent. They don't want to be homeless.
She is 7 months pregnant and no one will hire her. She is struggling. She needs food.
The need is great. The holidays are near and more  people are giving.
I have a load of food that still needs to be delivered to our small food pantry.
I just can't seem to find the time.Today there will be time.

It is after 5:00 and I head to the food pantry, in hopes of delivering this food today.
I call Missy to see if she can meet me there.
I arrive to drop off  my cargo of food and still frustrated that Poverty will not give me a break.
I am bothered at the thought of having to remove my heels. I convince myself that it will be much easier to unload if I am wearing flats.
This puts me in the most unpleasant mood. I begrudgingly get out of my car. I look up only to 
see a suspicious character. I mumble, "I hope he is not headed my way."
I glare in his direction and notice that he is walking towards me. 
I inhale with aggravation because he seems to be up to no good.
I am barely 5'4 and weigh 100 and something pounds. It is now after 5:30 
and this momma is not in the mood. I have to unload this food in flats and I don't have much
time. My 9 year old is waiting to be picked up from church.
He looks my way and I can feel my eyes telling my thoughts.
The neighborhood is silent and no cars in sight.
The sun is now setting and  for a moment I realize that I shouldn't be so bold.
That moment doesn't last long.
I should feel fear or even a bit apprehensive at my choice of posture but
I don't. My bad mood won't allow it. My eyes are focused on him. He doesn't smile
and neither do I.
I glance at my feet only to gain reassurance from my heels.
I am not bothered in the least  that he is twice my size.
I become defensive at the thought that he may want to take my food.
I have students that need this food. I have these two expecting mothers that need
this food. He can not have my food.
God himself must of been standing behind me because the gentleman
decides to cross the street. I mumble, "keep walking." 
I watch as he crosses the street and he no longer looks my way.
Disgusted at the thought of someone looking in the direction of my food.
I decide its time to take my heels off and switch to a more practical shoe. If only while
I unload. I begin to gather the food from my broken hatch. I walk up the side walk of this
small house that serves as a food pantry. My heart is warmed as I lay my first load of food
on the porch.
Walking back to my car to retrieve more food, I notice neighbors watching.
I see children peeking out their windows. My mood begins to change. I am now
overcome with grief, because I know their story. The children's momma is a drug addict and leaves
them often. They are cared for by neighbors and they only eat what this pantry provides.
 I have so little to offer.

I keep unloading but I can no longer hold back the tears. My grief takes over and
I stop to sit in my car. I will wait for Missy to arrive and while I wait I will I pray for the children and the neighborhood.

No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.
George Chakiris


Thursday, February 2, 2012

My White Skirt

I was careful all day, not to soil my cute white skirt. I succeeded.

It was 5:00 and my skirt, still white.

My phone rang, a potential Neighbor. "Mina," she said. "Hello Mina, how can I help you?"

She spoke softly, "Can you stop by my house today?"

Her place was on my way home so I agreed.
I navigated my way and it wasn't long before I found, her house.
When I drove up she was waiting, outside with her children.

I parked and noticed the unpleasant surroundings. At this point, I didn't want to get out of the car
I felt myself already giving way to my emotions. My heart hurt, to see the place they
had to call home.

Emotions intact, I made my way out of the car. I immediately felt the sun as it warmed my face.
As I walked to where she was, I prayed. I asked for help, I desired Hope for this family. 
The breeze softly swayed my white skirt as walked towards her. 

My eyes scanned the area where the children were playing. I froze when I saw the children, engaged in
laughter, as they played in the water. I looked for grass, no grass just a patch here and there.
A flashing neon sign went off in my head and it read, Caution! 
Three words quickly came to mind water, dirt and mud.

I wave in Mina's direction. She waves back and greets me with a warm "hello".
She asks if we could visit outside. I respond with, "perfect."
It didn't take long before she noticed my white skirt.  We both begin to look, for a place to sit.
She reaches for a clean towel that I could sit on. She places it on the steps and  I sit. I
reach for her hand and squeeze it as I tell her all will be well.

It doesn't take long before the children notice us, sitting on the stairs. A
small boy comes near. I see the curiosity bubbling in his eyes. He looks me over
and then moves closer. He inches his way even closer and meekly he reaches for a hug. I squeeze
him tightly ignoring those three words... water, dirt and mud.

I understand his hug. We both do. With out words my purpose there is clear.
These were hugs of gratitude. He feels hope.
 I am thankful that I can help and he is thankful that I am helping.

He stretches out his arm and hands me his armless toy. I reach out to take it. I bring it close and watch
as it drips mud on my white skirt. He knew I was there to help.

Inside his home there is no couch, he can not offer me a place to sit.
Inside his home he has no cup, he can not offer me a drink.
Inside his home there is no bed, in which to lay his head.
Until today there is no hope just  this muddy armless toy.

Me keeping my skirt clean doesn't seem so important, anymore.
I remember an interview Murray gave one day.
He said,  "sometimes it may get muddy"

Today it got muddy.
Mina a young mother of four, has lived in domestic violence long enough.
She is out and her goal is to keep her family intact. She dreams of furthering her education someday.
She dropped out of school in the 7th grade and wishes to do better with her children.

She promises to someday pay it forward, because of people like you she will.

I've learned that people will forget what you said,
 people will forget what you did,
 but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou

Do all the good you can

I was feeling wimpy, alas an opportunity to rest.
Again this morning I am feeling puny but I couldn't get my self to stay in bed.

On my journey to work, I was less than motivated. Some where along the way I
maneuver my way to a local convenience store. Not even a twinge of guilt about my choice
of breakfast items. 

Finally at my destination, I situate my self in my office chair and I power up my computer.
Two screens sit directly in front of me. My cell phone in hand and the texting commences.
My office phone rings, I answer and begin to assist this person in need.
While on the phone I begin to glare at the long list of unread emails.
My day is now in full swing.

I call to chat with Jane, our former homeless mother of 8.
Jane begins to tell me of the Life Changer that brought her food.
Alive and full of hope she is in a place of her own. She speaks of going back to school,
this ignites joy within me. Content that we have made headway in this family's life.

I contact Mina, our full time student mother of 4. Her sister answers the phone and I ask to leave a
message. It is not long before she confesses, she tells of her sister being picked up by the police.
Unpaid traffic tickets will keep her in a jail cell for 19 days . She goes on to say that their heater no longer
works. The land lord resolves this by bringing them two small space heaters, instead of making repairs.
Her electricity has been suspended. This means the little food they had left has gone to waste. 
This also means darkness for those precious babies.
I am speechless and my emotions have taken over.

Preoccupied with thoughts of Mina and her children.
How will they succeed in school? How can they
focus on learning? No food.
No mother to go home to. No warmth in the home. Not even a flicker of light.
Emails are out and a team is forming. We will make sure this crises does not deter these children's education.
There will be no excuses.
There are too many determined Life Changers that are always busy and never stop.


 "Do all the good you can, By all the means you can,
 In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can,
To all the people you can, As long as you ever can."
-John Wesley

My Cowboy

Friday and finally home. I sit in the den listening to my cowboy and my
daughter, as they chat about their day. She speaks with excitement about
her new college books.
I begin to recall her first day of school. I remember them having a similar conversation
about a new box of crayons. My heart is full and I take in the moment.

My phone rings and for a moment I consider hitting ignore.
I answer and it is Jane, a homeless  young mother of 8.
She is in need of help feeding her children.

This family is safe and warm in a hotel room, courtesy of
Life Changers. I tell her I am home, which means
I am 30 minutes away. I hesitate but I tell her, I will help.

It doesn't take long before my cowboy and I are headed to town.
Chick-fil-A agrees to feed this large family. We stop to pick up food and the young
man that is getting the food together walks over to me.
He begins to bless me and speak words of encouragement. I thank him and explain that
I am merely the servant not the person in need.

We arrive at the hotel and I call Jane to let her know that we are there. It doesn't take
long before a figure appears in the stair way. A woman with a rough exterior walks towards me.
She appears broken but hopeful. She smiles and I immediately sense her tenderness.
She wraps her arms around me and thanks me for the food.

As I get back in my vehicle, I am grateful for my cowboy. He is saddened at what he just witnessed.
As we drive off, I place my hands over my face and I begin to weep. I grieve for this woman and her children.
My heart aches that they feel alone and defeated. I desire education and success for them.
He reaches for my hand and immediately I am comforted.
I choke on my words as I try and express my gratitude for our ability to serve.

Life Changers are people with purpose. We dream of saving the world one family at a time.
“Every day you have the opportunity to learn and experience some-thing and some-one new.
Seize the opportunity.
Learn and experience everything you can, and use it to change the world.”