In answer to Tina Turner’s popular song “What’s love got to do with it?”, GraceWorks would reply “Everything!” John 13:35 tells us our love for others is one of the ways people can identify that we belong to God. While I am a hopeless romantic who loves to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the love God calls us to knows no special day or season but instead looks to be expressed in both tangible and intangible ways at all times. And that is the way you have loved us!
As we gather statistic for our soon-to-be mailed 2020-2021 Annual Impact Report to tell you of the impact GraceWorks has had in our community, we see just how much you have loved us! A whopping 17,600 of you took the time to load up, drive over and drop off your new or gently used clothes, furniture, accessories or household items to the Thrift Store. Then more than 14,000 of you shopped at the Thrift Store. The generosity of 8,000+ of you supported our programs, our work, our staff, our very existence with your financial gifts. More than 5,000 volunteers served shoulder to shoulder with us with an outpouring of your time and talent. This was all done to show tangible love to the over 11,000 Neighbors who came to GraceWorks seeking help.
Here is the story of just one person in that big number. Most men don’t like to ask for help, especially when the help is with things they typically view as their responsibilities such as sheltering, feeding and supporting their families. But this particular Neighbor had to swallow his pride and ask for help with all three. He could be any one of us, so for the sake of his privacy, I will call him John. John needed help paying his rent, he needed food from the Food Pantry, and he needed help getting his car running for simple travel necessities like going to work. John is known as a generous man himself and is in fact a Pastor who shepherds the underserved within our community! For sure, he has helped many in their time of need and now it was his turn. Because of your support, we were able to wrap our shelter, food and support programs as a big blanket of love and hope around him, his wife and children. John is just one person in whose life you’ve made a difference. There are over 10,999 more.
Because you have loved us, I wish you love in return. So, this Valentine’s Day (and every day) I pray that agape, phileo, storge (had to look that one up, it means familial love), or where appropriate, eros love, be yours. It is my wish that God runs your cup over in the same measure you have done for ours here at GraceWorks.
Every accolade I receive is yours, our every act of generosity we do is yours, every demonstration of love to our Neighbors is yours. Thank you for all you do for GraceWorks. 11,000 hearts were touched last year and because of you we are touching more hearts today, and it all has to do with love.
p.s. No news on a new home for us yet, but I for sure will keep you posted. Keep praying!