As I was preparing for this quarantine Family Promise week, I started sending out Save the Date reminders a month ahead and quickly got back responses saying, “Just let me know what you need!” and “I can help out in any way!”
The Wednesday before our host week, I sent an email to my other volunteers at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and the support congregations, St. James Presbyterian Church, and Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, letting them know our exact needs for dinner, groceries, welcome basket items, and other needs to help the week run smoothly. To cover all bases, I sent another email to a smaller list of volunteers who consistently help when it’s our Family Promise host week. They help fill in missing pieces. Sure enough, they were ready to help where needed.
So, meals were taken care of, paper products and sanitizers were collected, and welcome baskets were organized. Beyond the essentials, the volunteers took it upon themselves to add little something extras for the families, including Spanish books, nail polish kits, games, socks, magazines, and more. Wow!
To add to that generosity, I contacted one of our volunteers who speaks Spanish and loves writing notes for our families. Turns out she was in Guatemala … so she wrote notes from there!
Other volunteers donated money and gave words of prayer, support, and encouragement. Joe Nolting, who heads up Interfaith Coalition’s Kids Need Books program, delivered over 30 books in Spanish after I contacted him to see if he had anything he could contribute.
Watching the volunteers drop the food and items off on my porch was an amazing sight. I had food in my downstairs fridge and the freezer in my garage. My dining room and entry way were filled with donations. In fact, my car was too small to deliver everything to the Day Center, so I needed to take our pickup!
With each generous act of the volunteers, I literally had a picture in my mind of a heart with words bursting out of it: ‘I can’t believe this! So many generous people and my heart is overwhelmed. Look at this community of people! I’m so grateful for God’s goodness. We are all so truly blessed to be part of Family Promise.’”
— Lyann Rust, Sacred Hearth Catholic Church Member and Family Promise Volunteer Coordinator