We don’t expect thanks for the work we do at the Center; we’re here to offer help to those in need. We do our best to approach them with empathy and compassion. So many of them are dealing with challenges and hardships most of us will never face; sometimes they can be difficult to deal with. But then there are often special moments.
The other day, there was a call from a gentleman we had helped recently. He asked if I remembered him, he said he was the one that came in a motorized chair and I said yes, I did. He was calling to say thanks. He had requested some clothes from us. With our current process, the volunteers choose clothes based on the guest’s request, then we package them up for them. They don’t typically see what we have chosen for them until they get home and open their packages. This particular gentleman was calling to say how pleased he was with the clothes the volunteers had chosen for him! He was pleased that we gave him such nice things.
Once in a while, we’ll receive thank you notes. A gentleman sent in a note a while back. The writing was very child-like. He thanked us for our help, and asked us to keep him in our prayers.
My favorite story of all time was the day I overheard one of our guests making an unusual request for a toilet seat. I sent a volunteer to the household department to see if we happened to have one, but there was none. We told the woman we didn’t have it. I was taken by the unusual request, so I then called the Habit Restore nearby and lo and behold, they had one. I asked a volunteer to drive over and buy it for me. When the volunteer returned, I went over to the woman that had made the request and brought it to her. She literally jumped up out of her chair and gave me a big bear hug while saying through her tears ‘Thank you; now my children and I can use the bathroom”. Suffice it to say she wasn’t the only one with tears in her eyes.
Quite often I have volunteers come and thank me for allowing them to help those in need. Ironic, isn’t it, since I’m the one that’s thankful for their support. Sister Isaac always said that our ministry isn’t just about helping those in need; she said the volunteers benefit from the opportunity to serve.