I am leading the humanitarian efforts for our church ladies organization in our congregation. I like it because it allows me to think about service to others, one of my favorite subjects. Today was an especially great day that I think you will enjoy. Feel free to share this lovely--and true--story with anyone.
In July, when I was asked to do this and I was developing an outline for the next year of projects, Mr. Fun suggested we collect coats. It was humid and hot. Who wants to think about coats in July? I heard some ladies say September was too early to collect, but it felt right so that is when we did it.
The ladies came through, and we even had a large donation from a Baptist who--gently put--isn't the fan club president of the LDS church. :) In all, there were 91 gathered up. It was a lovely showing.
That isn't the best part.
The group I felt inspired to give the donation to is a group in the city (ghetto to be exact) that I have never worked with. They are the Don Bosco Center. I have never donated to them. I have never called them. They had no idea what we doing. I figured we would just show up with our 91 coats and they might find some homes for them.
We had a record cold weather this last week. The coldest on record in years and years.
Tom and I went to the city today to deliver them. It is the ghetto, so I figured I better take some man muscle--just in case. I have been kind of slurry as well for driving.
We knocked on the poorly painted garage donation door and this nice lady opened it up.
Val: "Hi. I have some coats we collected from our church that we would like to donate."
Woman: Stared at me. No answer. Obviously shocked for some reason.
Woman: "What did you say?"
Val: Feeling nervous. "We collected 91 coats from the ladies at church. Would you like them?"
Woman: She brings her hands to her face, covers her mouth and eyes and begins to cry.
Val and Tom: Look at each other and think, "What the...?"
Woman: "We don't have a single coat to give away. We have been praying all week that we would get some coats. This morning I prayed and said, 'God, can you please bring the coats today?"
Val: Crying. "I can't believe that. Stop crying. You are making me cry!"
Tom: "I am not crying."
Woman: Crying still. "Thank you. Who are you? Where did these come from?" (like we were magic coat fairies or something)
Val: Smiling so happy. "We are just some nice Mormon church ladies. And there was a generous donation from a Baptist lady."
Woman: "Promise me you will go home and tell those ladies what has happened today."
Woman: Turns around and literally ran to another part of the donation hall shouting "The coats are here! The coats are here!"
It was a great moment. I will never forgot the look on her face and the feeling in my heart.
Thanks Heavenly Father. I needed that.