The Gala was huge! Looking back on it now, I realize just how ambitious we really were. We had 300 guests. We fed them, hired a band for them, had a bar for them, provided the Saints game for them, conducted a silent auction, had a special cake made (in the shape of a sheep for "Feed my sheep"), had a bananas foster flaming demo by the chef, tea stations and outdoor bars, and a tented area in the garden with food.
When I got home, exhausted from the past 4 months, I told both of my daughters that they must elope. Holy COW, that was a lot of work...
but the good news - we celebrated 20 years of ministry work in the community! Fun was definitely had. We raised money for the charity. We got a good bit of press. Thank you to those who helped. Thank you to those who prayed for us. That we live in a world where 300 people will give their time and money in support of helping those less fortunate...it gives me great hope.
I'm glad it was a success for you and your organization. Knowing you were in charge, I didn't have a doubt at all that this would be a huge success.
The results are a direct reflection on its able bodied manager ;)
Good for you! Good for the community! And good for those 300 souls. :)
Sultry jazz. Pianos, saxaphones, or just an impassioned piano.
Give me a sensual, throaty female sexing out "Willow, Weep for Me" or "The Very Thought of You" and I am in heaven. My tummy goes all warm and the last parts of the breaths I never fully exhale sigh their way out of my very relaxed body and soul.
Magic. The magic of women being unabashedly female.
So, in fairness and balance, I want to write about another Ms Doe.
She came in for help with her rent. She has 4 children and is behind because she was hired for a full time job cashiering at a local grocery store but they keep short scheduling her. She has somehow found the time to take classes to be a teacher's aid. As soon as she had the $75 for the CPR class, she could be certified and apply to the school board.
She has some Accounting classes under her belt and hopes one day to get back and finish up. She REALLY wants to better herself.
She went to the DA's office to turn the father in for dodging child support (often such a brave move. You wouldn't believe the number of women I try to talk into taking this step.)
I asked her if I were to pay a portion of the rent, could she come up with a portion? She paused for a minute and said she could (mind you, her rent was about $600 only). She said that she had about $300 of her $496 car note and that she needed a home before a car.
That's when the entire interview clicked into place for me. THAT is maturity. THAT is being able to make tough decisions.
You'd die if you saw how many people have cable, cell phones and land lines, and cigarettes in their pockets who talk to us about having nowhere to cut their budgets. They aren't even being argumentative, most of them. They simply have come to believe that those are not luxuries, but necessities. They cannot prioritize. CAN NOT. At least a quarter of what we do is to show people a new way to look at expenses and responsibilities.
We got documentation of everything, and I asked her to bring in a flyer from the Red Cross on their CPR classes.
When she came back, we paid her whole rent, receipted her $300 and paid the car note in full, and made a check out to Red Cross for the lessons.
But the story doesn't end there. Yesterday, we received a call from an organization looking for the name of a single mom who wanted to improve her situation and go back to school. We shared a little about Ms. Doe and they asked that we have her call them. (How's that for timing?)
When Ms. Doe was in, we told her about them and she said she'd call. Well, we said, while we write your checks, why not use our phone and give them a call. They're expecting you to call.
When we brought her checks, she was excited and wiping tears. She's so excited about the organization that's going to help her go back for her accounting degree.
She has the support of her mom who watches her littlest ones while she works...did I mention that she has 3 year old twins? And man, were they cuties! Look how much can be done in a life when we all help. And how many lives will she impact? And her children?
I'm so proud of you, young woman. I'm honored to have been able to meet you and to be a person in your path. I know you'll get there because you keep trying your best in everything you do.
I discovered a cheater today. She presented as a hurt, out of work mom who needed an electric bill paid. Our ministry is compassionate, but we do ask for emergencies and the need to be verified as well as can be done in order to ensure that we are helping people genuinely in need.
Because of that accountability check, we don't get a lot of fraudulent apps, but we do get some. On this one, I checked the letter from her employer. It was very short and handwritten on blank paper, faxed to me from the same fax number as the other two docs (landlord and one other.) Each was one handwritten paragraph, similarly penned with what appeared to be an effort to disguise handwriting.
I call the employer while holding his letter in my hand.
J: Hi, I'm calling you about the letter you wrote regarding Ms. Doe.
E: (pause) Yes?
J: Can you tell me when she last worked for you?
E: (pause) Well, she hasn't been for a while.
J: Yes, you said in your letter. Can you estimate about what date she last worked for you.
E: Uh, well...it's been probably a couple of weeks.
J: Oh. In your letter, you state she hasn't been there since June.
E: (pause) Yeah.
J: Sir, did you write this letter or did she?
E: (pause) I told her she could.
J: I see. Thank you for your help.
1. This person wrote the letter, "To Whom it May Concern." She knows our names.
2. She signed the letter with "Thank You" and signed the man's name.
3. I'm looking at 2 more that look eerily similar.
4. She was willing to take the money from our charity that might cause us to have less help for others who truly need a hand.
I called her house and left a message. "I just wanted to let Ms. Doe know that we will not be able to pay this electric bill. We wanted to be courteous and truthful as quickly as possible so that she has every opportunity to solve this challenge another way."
You'd guess that I'm mad. You'd be wrong. I'm so happy. When things like this happen, you DO help people. We helped her in the best way possible. We did not reward her bad behavior. We tried to model honesty. What she does with that gift is up to her.
Wow! Some people are freaking unreal. You are a good person, and you are very forthright when it comes to honesty. Good for you for making the choice you did. Because I would have done the same thing. Some people would not have done what you have.
With my claim it is the opposite...come over here and sort the DWP out please!
.. for every person who tidies up in front of the church on aa Thursday, eight more litter: whilst one gets dragged to help the one picking up.
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