An elderly woman walked into GraceWorks last week with heavy responsibilities and few resources.
But the only request she had was for food.
She had six school-age grandchildren waiting at home who were hungry.
Three staff members and volunteers scurried around to put together enough food for her family, said Erica Watkins, administrative assistant in client services.
“We don’t usually give that much, but these are growing children and there are six of them,” Watkins said. “She looked to be in her 80s, and she doesn’t have a lot of options to feed them. We needed to give her a little more to feed all those kids.”
A neighbor, walking with a cane herself, had brought the grandmother to GraceWorks in an aging pickup, and as they pulled out of the parking lot, Watkins had a thought.
She ran out to stop them and asked if the children needed school clothes. The grandmother had to open the door to talk because the window didn’t roll down. Watkins said she could give them a voucher for the GraceWorks Thrift Store and that they could get clothes then or come back another day.
The truck immediately turned around and parked, and the grandmother went into the store and joyfully picked out clothes for the children.
“She only asked for food. What she got was a surprise,” Watkins said. “She was beyond grateful. She kept saying, ‘Bless you. Bless you.’”
—by Kathi McClure