This past weekend I had one of the best Saturdays I had had in a while. I sit on the board of an organization called The Divine Intervention, and our mission is to provide spiritual guidance to people who are suffering, hurt, or need help and comfort as well as to help local organizations that serve the poor. It was the latter part of the mission that we were working on on Saturday. We held our first-ever Winter Warmth Drive, a drive to help provide blankets, socks, underwear, coats, and other items that would help someone stay warm this winter to people in need. We give our donations to a place called the Eastern Cabell County Humanities Organization (ECCHO); they serve the poorest of the poor in our county. They are fully staffed by volunteers.
Before I go on, let me back up. Back in November we held our first-ever food drive. We are a small organization and we really had no idea who, if anyone, would show up to donate food. We were afraid no one would come, and we made ourselves okay with that. Man were we wrong. So, so wrong.
So you'd think we'd have learned our lesson, right?
I am embarrassed to admit it, but after we planned the Winter Warmth Drive ... well, I was really afraid no one would come. I totally remembered the whole food drive thing, but I made excuses to myself, like blankets are pretty expensive, we're not talking about a .49 can of green beans here, blah, blah. Well, this happened:
And this was only halfway through the day. In the middle of our drive Saturday, I told my friends and fellow volunteers Lisa and Kim that I thought God was laughing at us. We of little little faith. We planned a food drive, we doubted, God came through in a big way. We planned a winter warmth drive, we doubted, and God came through in a big way. As my mom said, if we keep worrying ECCHO will never lack for anything! Haha.
The thing is, it's easy to forget that people that live down the street from us or whose kids go to school with ours really need our help. ECCHO serves something like 420 families a month, and that is just from one part of our county. Their funding has been cut, and, like many nonprofits, they are having to do more with less. Just as soon as items go in the door at ECCHO they go right back on out again. They always need food, and they told us Saturday that things like blankets, socks, underwear, coats, hats, mittens, and scarves are also so desperately needed. People cannot afford to heat their homes in the winter, so blankets are truly life-saving.
I absolutely had the best time Saturday hanging with my friends and sorting donations as they came in. I really think this is how the world works -- regular people help other regular people and then we all do a little bit better.