“Our mission is to create something that will end suffering for one other person. That person is worth everything. It is time to change because this hope is too big not to pursue. Nothing will hold us back. We have enough, and we will give more.” Jeff Shinabarger
That one section of the neighborhood, though, needs extra attention.
Our goal with Acts of Kindness has always been to bless our community at large, but this little “tucked away” group of people has remained foremost on my mind and heavy on my heart. I do not have any pictures from the dwellings that they call home. I don’t want it jeopardizing relationships or perceived as judgment.
There had been hours of brainstorming trying to think of the possible barriers we might encounter and how to overcome them. Now I see most of that was wasted time and energy. The language barrier? Not all are Hispanic. Many speak English. The lack of trust we were sure we’d encounter? It was less than we had anticipated. Instead, it was replaced with disbelief and gratitude that we were there to bless them.
We heard a lot of “Thank you’s”.
We didn’t hear any, “What are you doing here?”
We did hear, “Nobody does anything like this on the north end of town.”
My husband, daughter and I, along with 5 friends, two of whom speak Spanish decided to walk through the area that our hearts have been drawn to. We went bearing gifts. We went to greet, to smile, to break the ice, to bless. We went to meet the people, rather than gawk at the conditions. They seemed to know that. They allowed their children to receive what we extended to give and were surprised when we offered them small tokens of goodwill as well.
We gave them boxes with flashlights, bottles of water and granola bars in them. On the front was a sticker that said, “May you find peace in the midst of all of life’s storms.” We gave the women lotions or perfumes. We handed out the rest of our laundry packs. And to everyone we offered candy. It is a universal smile-starter.
One mom came walking toward us with 4 small children, the youngest in her arms. We gave beanie babies, candy and fruit cups to them all. She told us it was her baby’s first birthday and thanked us.
A couple of the young men knew my husband, who has worked in the school district for nearly 25 years. My daughter recognized a few that went to the same high school as she did. We smiled at the recognition and left pleasantly surprised. Our first efforts had been fruitful and God had given us favor.
So who is it in your life that you feel drawn by compassion to help? It does not have to be a neighborhood. It can be one person. I encourage you to look today with new eyes. You and I have an opportunity… to bring health, to provide help, to give hope!
Wanting to Give More With You,