One Volunteer’s Experience – Part 2

This is part 2 of a post written by a Secret Families of Madison County volunteer wrapper who wishes to remain anonymous. (Part I is available here.)  I hope you enjoy!

On a chilly Friday morning in March I made my way back to that house. I climbed those cement stairs and knocked on that door.  My knees were shaking and my heart was racing.  Whether it was from nerves or from the knowledge that I was finally doing what God had put on my heart… I don’t know. The door slowly opened and a teenage girl looked at me, blinking, unsure of who I was or why I was there.  I mentioned I had been part of the Secret Families team that dropped off the presents. I asked if they had beds yet.  She confirmed they did not.  Over her shoulder I saw that their home still had nothing in it. No couch, no chair, no table, no pillows.  My husband and I had recently decided to downgrade my son from a bunk bed to a regular bed.  We did not have extra mattresses (one of the bunks had just always been storage), but we had bunk beds and the pads that went under the mattress. They could at least have something to sit on.  I offered that to the girl standing at the door, and I was met with a bursting of joy again and a loud, “Yes! Please!”. I got the number for her mom and arranged to borrow a truck from a friend to deliver the bunk beds.  I went home and racked my brain over what else I could do.  I suddenly remembered a friend who I knew had an extra twin mattress. I called her and inquired after the mattress, asking if they would be willing to donate it.  She was more than willing, and, in fact, had a queen bed to donate!  I was overjoyed.

We delivered the bunk bed, twin and queen mattresses.  My husband lovingly and patiently rebuilt the bunk in a tiny empty room.  As we left, I knew it still wasn’t enough.  I knew more could be done and had to be done.

A few days later my small group got together for our biweekly scheduled meeting.  I mentioned this beautiful family and their need.  They asked me to find out exactly what the mom needed so we didn’t just drop off a lot of junk to her.  In every communication I had with the mom I always told her how her family’s joy had impacted me the day of Secret Families and how God had placed her on my heart so much.  I asked her what their specific need was and she said, “Everything.” She told me that the kids were on Spring Break and she could not even afford to feed them three meals a day. They used to eat two meals at school. I took that back to my small group and once again my world was rocked at the love that poured from a group of people as they met someone’s need.

One family immediately went to the grocery store and filled up on food and took it to the house with the broken cement stairs.  Another family said they will be making a delivery next week.  Still another family donated pots and pans, since my new friend mentioned they didn’t even have that.  Another of my small group friends went to Goodwill and purchased two couches and two chairs for this family.  I went with them to deliver it.  As we made our way up the stairs, the matriarch opened the door.  Once again I was astounded by her joy.  She hugged me and welcomed us in to her home.  The couches and chairs were set up in the meager house.  One in the living room, one in a bedroom to be used as a bed.  These people, strangers to a family in need, felt God move and each of them obediently answered that call.  I am overwhelmed by their love and willingness even a I type this out.

I looked at this beautiful woman and asked if we could go out for coffee one day. I believe that this call God has obviously put on my heart for this family is more than a, “Be charitable and move on” call. I believe, from the bottom of my heart, that He is calling me to love them, befriend them, and experience life with them.  I want to get to know each of them individually and invest in their lives.  I am so incredibly thankful to Secret Families for connecting us – for being the catalyst that put all of this in motion.  I cannot wait to see what the future brings.

End of Part 2.  Can you help continue the love? It has always been our heart to enable our families to get back on their feet beyond Christmas. We have been offering free Christian Life Coaching for the past two years and had one family take us up on it last year. If you have been touched by this post, please consider donating to Secret Families of Madison County. We are making a difference in our community.

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