The phone… again. I just really need to get this office work finished. The number… I don’t even know it. If I pick it up, what will they ask me? What will they need? Can I even help?
Facebook messenger…oh the wonders of technology. I have 3 messages that just popped through, but if I even look at them and don’t have an answer, the people who sent them will think I don’t care.
Email… sorting through again to find that one email of someone who wanted to volunteer but I didn’t have anything for them at that time but now I do have something for them to do… where is it? Oh wait, maybe it was a facebook post.
Texts… 37 today. I can’t even.
3 people awaiting donations to be picked up. Each one requires a truck… or a cleaned out van.
In the meantime, I’m going to drink more coffee.
This is my Monday. I’m sure I’m not alone. In fact, as I drink the rest of the pot of coffee. I can feel this sob welling in my throat. Because, I realize all those things, I can mute. I can turn off. I can walk away and it will absolutely not effect whether I have electricity, a home, food, or medical help this week.
As those messages build up, they have nothing to do with my Christmas or the turkey I’ll be cooking for Thanksgiving.
I’m not the one with cancer. I didn’t lose my home last night. My daughter didn’t call from where she has been hiding out and tell me she is pregnant. My son did not get accused of a crime he didn’t commit.
The bills I’m most worried about have nothing to do with my child eating. The medical appointments I’m struggling with today, have nothing to do with me.
…but this is why Empower Youth is more than a food program…
Our goal has been to build relationships to make life changes. Relationships are messy. Relationships put faces on unrecognizable phone numbers. Relationships come with timelines… not deadlines.
Wide gaps are hard to fill so we just keep building across with one small board at a time. One board, support for that board. One more family, support for that family through other families. One school, support for that school through a community.
What I’ve noticed, for every one board, we are able to support eventually there is trust built and the folks we are helping start putting down boards on their side of the gap. That’s the way you bridge gaps in poverty… each side has to keep building out. Each side has to keep trusting… and that means…
…I have to answer the 37 texts.
…I need to find someone to pick up those donations.
… I have to be ok when I can’t come up with an answer when all the person really needs me to do is say I see you. I hear you.
How can you help?
Grace. I could really use some. We do triage and long-term care and some days the emergent takes over the agenda. Facebook messages are easily lost. Texts get buried. Please email us so we can be better stewards. They all still come to my phone. I will still get them in a day.
If you have called or emailed in the last two months and you have not been answered sufficiently, please resend that email to email@example.com.
If you wanted to do something special for Empower Youth through your church or community group and we missed getting back with you, please resend that email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I asked you to do something for me and I never followed back up, please email me at email@example.com.
Creativity. If you have a creative way of telling the story of Empower Youth that will challenge your company, church, or other group to volunteer or give– do that. Would you like to put up a Christmas tree with tags of needs for us at your work? at your church? We will even make your tags! But maybe you have an incredible idea like Mt Carmel Christan Church Youth and want to do stockings– do that. Or perhaps, you are like Saltair Youth and decide to buy a Thanksgiving meal for us to give on your behalf– do that. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Money. Honestly, that will help a little… actually alot. Click here to drop a fast buck or two… right now our food budget is $7500. We take in about half that a month. Our milk is $1155/month. If you click this link, you can donate immediately and pay for one child to receive a bag this month. You may even want to stick your neck out and ask your company to do a matching gift up to $500.
This isn’t a very snazzy campaign letter or fundraising appeal letter.
That’s cause it’s not. It’s just my heart, broken, exhausted…
…patched with the hope and assurance that together, we can all empower youth.
I really do love you– I’m not playing,