Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Serve Day!

On Saturday September 28th, our church had a Serve Day. There were a bunch of groups going to a bunch of different locations to help out. Our group when to Bread of Life Mission in downtown Seattle. 

Bread of Life's mission is to "Bringing hope, healing and recovery to Seattle homeless through a Christ-Centered approach."

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Our job for the day was to sort through toiletries and then pack bags to give out to the homeless in the area. At first we had only planned on bringing the 3 older kids, but then the plan for Zeke to go hang out at a friends house fell through so he came with us. I'm so happy that he did because it was such a great experience for all the kids and they really surprised us with how much fun they had and how much they really helped out. 

The first thing we did when we got to the mission was we met Michael the Housing Manager. He gave us a tour of the mission and explained all the programs they offer. It was really amazing to hear about the support they provide the community. After the tour the guys started to get out all the boxes of toiletries that we'd be sorting through. The kids were hanging out in the room where we'd be sorting and stuffing bags. That's when I heard, "Mom come here!" I thought I was going to need to break up a fight, but that wasn't it at all. In the area we were going to be working they had some fun pictures hung up of previous volunteers and lo and behold we found Ms. Ruth and her daughter Sarah. 

Ms. Ruth is on the far right....she married Michael's Dad back in January of this year. I immediately took this picture and texted her. She texted back and said, "Wow! That was a long time ago!" 

Once we got all the boxes out of the storage areas we got right to work. We sorted through them and then started an assembly line for filling the bags. It went really fast and everyone had a great time. We actually finished so early we decided to go hand out some of the bags. 

Out of privacy I didn't take any pictures of us doing that, but I was really blown away by my kids...especially Ella. She was not hesitant at all. She was going to give out those bags. It really was beautiful to see her loving on people. 

There was a total God situation that happened as we were passing out the bags in the middle of Pioneer Square. I was walking over towards a group of people and I saw a lady from down the street walking towards us in a hurry. The bags are bright orange so people know that they are from the mission. This woman stopped and asked if we had any shoes since she only had a pair of sandals on and it was cold and rainy and she had bare feet. I told her unfortunately we didn't have any shoes in the bags, but some of them did have socks. Let me say this first...when we were packing the bags there were certain items that we only had a few of....socks, chapstick, combs and a few other things. We packed a ton of bags and the socks were one of the first things to run out. When we finish the bags we were putting them in these big containers and filling them full with packed bags. The ones that would have had socks were most definitely buried in those containers. When we left to go hand out the bags we just grabbed a few bags for each person from the top of the pile. After telling her that some of the bags had socks I was sure that none of the ones we had would possibly have socks in them. Of course I was going to check the bags I had to be certain. The first bag I checked had a nice pair of warm socks in it. Total God moment for sure! 

When we finished handing out the bags to the people we walked over to this waterfall park that I didn't even know existed! It was so amazing right in the middle of the city. 

Michael offered to take a picture of our group. 

I also wanted a picture of us by the sign in front of the building. We did still have a few bags leftover...the square was actually pretty empty for a Saturday morning, but Michael wanted us to take them with us and hand them out when the need arose. I had so much fun helping out and I know the kids did too.

 There are a lot of things wrong with the world, but there are also a lot of people trying to help out and make a difference just one person at a time. I think the world would be a much better place if instead of sitting in our nice cozy houses arguing about this and that if we just got up volunteered and supported good organizations like this that are helping the community. The world is such a big place it can feel like nothing that you do will ever change anything for the better, but even little things like stuffing toiletry bags can make a difference. My hope is for our family to come back and volunteer again. Michael said they need help with wrapping presents at Christmas. I love to wrap presents and to know the joy that those presents will bring to a person in need would be an amazing feeling.