It is another good day of service here. We feel the storm looming and hope families can come to get their stuff before it hits. Our three trucks are out picking up donations, and our drivers are already working in some hard rain. Their determination makes this place go.
Our volunteers and staff here at the Center are managing the day with their usual great compassion. It is inspiring to watch volunteers here bring so much love and understanding as they help families select their items.
One of our staff members shared a story yesterday relative to the likely power outages. For so many along the east coast, power outages are going to turn their lives upside down. As this staff member pointed out, power outages are a normal part of life for our clients. She shared how she had spoken to a woman a day ago whose phone had been disconnected when we tried to call to confirm her appointment. The woman shared that she had to make choices – her priority was to get her kids school supplies so they could start school last Monday, so she couldn’t pay for the phone.
The families we serve have their lives turned upside down often, with phones and power cut off whenever their choices do not allow them to keep up with payments. Our staff member shared the following from a book she was reading about a woman raised in poverty:
“Poverty has so brutalized the family that the ordinary laws and rules governing humanity have eroded, turning systems of behavior upside down.”
As we prepare to have things turned upside down by Hurricane Irene, our minds stay with those are born and raised in poverty – and who always get hit the hardest, storm or no storm. Those we serve, including the the very young and the very old, live in fear of power outages all the time. As our staff member shared, it is no wonder that crimes, drugs, violence, and abuse are rampant in areas where so many are mired in poverty. If we can help lift these friends and neighbors from poverty, she wrote in an email to me, their humanity would be restored. Her email to me finished with an emphasis on the restoration of humanity, as she wrote:
“How can we not all want such a life for everyone?”
A Wider Circle’s Saturday recap:
1. We had 9 families come to get their homes furnished, despite the rain.
2. We picked up items from 19 families in the region – again, thanks to some above-and-beyond efforts from the guys.
3. We had 24 volunteers join the interns and staff to manage the day