It is way too early on a Saturday morning for my liking. Most Saturdays I don’t even want to think about getting up til at least 9. The sun is not up. It’s raining. And yet, we’re awake, on our second cup of coffee.
Today we are helping at our church with the Single Parent Family Fair (SPFF). We do this every year and it important to me. It serves single parents who are feeling overwhelmed with the back to school costs that hit all at once. Sometimes, no matter how hard you budget, there just isn’t enough to go around. It can be humiliating, humbling, depressing, defeating.
But it doesn’t have to be!!!!
I’ve been there. I’ve had to choose between buying something my child needed and my own needs. I’ve had to decide if I can stretch the food in my pantry to last the week (even though I had enough to maybe, just maybe, make it 4 days) or buy a book bag and a new pair of shoes for back to school. I’ve known that desperation. It isn’t pretty or fun. It’s lonely and sad.
So when I found out several years ago that my church has an annual SPFF, I knew this was an important service project for me to be involved in. And I love that it is so much more than just passing out some #2 pencils and crayons. So. Much. More.
We have people from our congregation who pitch in with their talents and expertise. We have beauticians providing free hair cuts. We have mechanics providing free oil changes. We provide back packs completely filled with age specific school supplies. We provide coffee and breakfast for those coming out to receive the help.
It helps them tremendously. They have needs met that otherwise would be a strain. They can provide for their children in ways they couldn’t on their own. And the kids have a new back pack full of supplies and a new hair cut to start their school year off right.
It helps me tremendously. There is little that helps my soul feel rejuvenated than serving others. I love seeing the smiles. The grateful hearts. The kids laughing. There is something I find so difficult to put into words how giving to someone selflessly is the best feeling in the world. No expectations. No “I’ll help you but I need this in return” kind of thing. This is a true “Pay it Forward” type help that I always encourage others to do.
Help someone who can’t possibly help you back. Give to someone who can’t possibly give you anything but a smile. Lift someone up from their circumstances. And you’ll be amazed at how that gratitude comes back to you where you need it most.
Helping others, quite simply, helps my soul.