~ Build someone up. Put their insecurities to sleep. Remind them they’re worthy. Tell them they’re incredible. Be a light in a too often dim world~
“We appreciate you guys and all you do!”
“Thanks for always asking me how my week was.”
“You all here are the only family I have, I never have anyone that really listens. You guys really care.”
“Wow, ain’t no one ever sing happy birthday to me in a long while.”
These are a few things I’ve heard in conversation tonight. Our Friday evenings go beyond just handing out some essentials and hot food. It’s the foundation of friendships that are built. It’s reminding our friends that they are worth it, that we care for them. That we want to hear about their week. The good, the bad and everything in between. Conversations, laughter, dancing, tears, hugs, fist bumps. It all happens at SS.
Tonight was Vincent’s birthday. Lisa bought him a cupcake, we sang and we had a special gift for him. He’s mentioned before that his son challenged him to a basketball game. Now Vince has a new ball to take on that challenge with his son!! Great bonding time. We look forward to hearing about who wins!!!
When I arrived tonight, our friend Ghalia was talking to a new face. This woman was just passing through and the set up caught her attention. As we were unloading the car, Ghalia was explaining to her what we were there doing. She decided to stay and volunteer. Jenny is an international student here from China and she brought such love to SS tonight. We all adored her and she in interacted with our friends as if she’s been with us all along. She was so inspired tonight that she even asked about doing a StreetSoldiers in China when she goes home.
All in all, it was a humbling night. It’s truly amazing to witness the set up, the love in action and the breakdown. It’s inspirational, it’s impactful, it gives our friends hope and a sense of belonging and it fills the hearts of us all. It’s not you, it’s not me…it’s US. Together we make a difference.
Many thanks to each one of our volunteers and donors. It’s because of you that we’re able to help so many each week. Thank you to Hannaford supermarkets in Valatie, Perfect blend Cafe in Delmar, Bethlehem Central High, West End Bagels, ProjectElla and Gus and Alicia Purdy.
Our hearts are full.