Thursday, December 18, 2014

Seven years and two months ago...

In October of 2007, CCSC helped a family undergoing a one-time crisis by paying part of their apartment rent and giving them food along with a bar of soap. We never saw them again until yesterday when the son returned with a donation to CCSC. The family had carefully calculated the amount of money we spent to help them, added in accumulated interest, and written a check to reimburse us.

We were astonished by the intention and care they took to pay us back so we could help another family.

There is a little handwritten note on the check that says "with God's help". Does this note reference God's help during their crisis in 2007? Does it reference their gratitude to now be financially secure? Or is it a simple acknowledgement of God's presence in their lives?

We'll never know, but this surprise donation reminds me of a truth I learned long ago working at CCSC: the people we serve, who struggle greatly in life, often have deep spiritual insight. Along with great faith, born of hardship, not abundance.

So as we end 2014 and move into a new year, it's a good reminder that "with God's help", we can move confidently into a fresh, new year, trusting that God's presence is more than enough.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

We help all kinds of people

CCSC helped a man recently who was beaten and robbed twice in his neighborhood. The second incident caused him to be hospitalized for a lengthy period of time, so when he came to us, he was still fragile, physically and emotionally.

With only his sister in town, this single gentleman doesn't have much of a support system. He works at a small business doing odd jobs, and his employer now allows him to sleep at the office until he can earn enough money for a deposit on a new apartment. He needs to move to a safer neighborhood.

He came to us for food, not wanting to be more of a burden to his employer. Despite being younger than me by over 10 years, he looks much older: poverty and a hard life have aged him tremendously.

While most of us are drawn to helping needy children, I am grateful CCSC helps all the "vulnerables" in our community: children and grown-ups, the elderly and disabled, single mothers and two-parent families. We help all in need, including people like this man who are lonely and suffering and struggling to eke out a living.  There are many more like him, and I'm grateful he found his way to us.