“Ma’am, do you think I could get a sweater?” This simple request from a neighbor was shared with me by Mary, a retired GraceWorker, (a volunteer who greets and serves those coming to GraceWorks seeking help), as she fondly reflected on her days with us.
The question was posed to her by a gentleman who walked into GraceWorks wearing only a short-sleeved shirt and thin pants on a cold winter’s day. He thought a full set of warmer clothes, including a coat, were too much to ask. Of course he left with not only a sweater but a complete outfit appropriate for the weather, including a coat!
More recently, we had another moving but simple request. A woman called to ask if she could come in to get some disposable underwear. This was a seemingly odd request until she explained she was in the last stages of cancer and the side effects of her treatments made this request necessary.
A young mom came in for food, and the GraceWorker noticed that her young kindergartener only had a hoodie on. Her simple request was just for food and didn’t include an ask for a coat for her child. Our staff had gathered a few children’s coats and put them in the office for the very purpose of meeting these observed needs. This mom left teary-eyed as she pushed her cart of food to her car and watched her child skipping happily in his new coat.
So often we talk about the ways that GraceWorks has a huge impact in the lives of the neighbors we serve. We look for big numbers and big results. Even as a culture, we celebrate the big things. But this month I want to invite you to think about the simple requests; the little things we give that have a big impact.
I am inviting you to think about these simple requests because you make them possible!
Those men’s clothes you no longer needed, but were still in great shape so you donated them to us, brought joy to the giver and to the receiver. Mary said the gentleman left looking like a model on the cover of GQ magazine!
The monetary donation you gave to equip us to purchase the odd and unusual request of disposable underwear allowed us to compassionately meet a tangible need of our neighbor in her last days.
The brand-new coat you saw on sale and purchased just for us, brought tears to a mother’s eyes and pride to a child’s heart.
Thank you for your thoughtful partnership. Thank you for making it possible for us to have a big impact in even little ways. Together we are giving hope to our neighbors in need!
Valencia A. Breckenridge, CEO