We believe communities thrive when the citizens who live within are supported and lifted up. One way we do that is through our Community Closet, which works directly with neighborhood leaders to identify and support people in need. Over the holidays, Claressa, a member of our team, was able to assist six families in Columbia through the Community Closet. Read more about this experience in her letter to Greg Alia below.
I know that heaven is amazing, but I need a favor. I need you to ask God to install a peephole to see the lives you touch through Serve & Connect in your honor.
The last couple days have been most fulfilled by putting smiles on families’ faces during the holiday season. As a team, AJ and I worked with neighborhood leaders to identify six families to bring holiday cheer.
The first family we helped was a lady that has stage 4 cancer. Earlier this year during the pandemic, she lost everything she owned because of health issues. We surprised her with a new living room suite and household items for each one of her rooms in her new apartment. Greg, you should have seen the tears she shed because she couldn’t believe how beautiful her new home was. She said that she’s forever grateful because we thought about her.
The next family we supported was a mother of 11 children and a recovering addict. Ms. Nikki was transferred to a new 4-bathroom apartment, new everything! We surprised her with a new living room suite, beds for all her children and household goods for each of her rooms. She made two requests and we had to honor them! Her requests were a microwave and some yellow Crocs for her oldest daughter. Greg, we did just that. The family was so happy they were all crying in disbelief that all these things were for them. She shed tears because she couldn’t believe how beautiful her new home looked. She said we have given her a second chance to be a mother to her kids and she will not let us down.
Another family we helped was a teenage mom, Aretha. Aretha’s world had changed once her boyfriend overdosed in front of her and her 18-month-old son. We surprised her with new shoes, comforters, and household goods for each one of her rooms. We also supported her with gas and food for the week. She was so happy because she would have lost her job if we weren’t there for support.
Our last family made me remember why we’re committed to this mission. Janeshia was put out of her home earlier this year. To help others, she gave away all her furniture. Last week, she attended our community meeting and she cried because she didn’t have to worry about how she would feed her children that night. She moved back to the apartment complex and started completely over. We surprised her with a mini refrigerator, household goods for each one of her rooms, and brand-new shoes. Janeshia walked in wearing some old shoes that were given to her in a shelter. I asked her, “If you had one wish what would it be?”. She said, “New shoes.” We did just that.
We learned from this experience that walking in someone else’s shoes is hard, until you support them in putting on new ones!
Serve & Connect