This was written by the staff at Love in Action and submitted for our Hometown Highlights feature. This story shows the power of connection and the importance of Love in Action’s mission.
It was 2 a.m. in the middle of a dark church parking lot. Light shone on a couple of women lounging in lawn chairs and chitchatting. A concerned police officer walked up to them and asked, “What are you ladies up to?”
“Just enjoying the evening, officer,” one joyfully replied.
What had begun a few months before as casual conversation with others waiting in line for a food truck had developed into friendships. Deb (name changed to protect the client) and her new friends started meeting earlier to wait together. They shared vulnerabilities in their situations and connected over history, loss and hardship. While grieving the loss of her son, Deb found a safe place with friends. These friends walked alongside her during good times and hard times. They even came together over the holidays.
“For the first time in a long time, I felt safe and not judged,” Deb recalled.
One of her friends at the food truck suggested Deb join Financial Fitness, a Love in Action program designed to empower participants with skills to work toward financial stability. With the support she received in class, Deb was able to pay off her son’s funeral expense; she made the goal to become debt-free; and she now has money in savings.
She began to thrive because she had tangible resources partnered with emotional support and practical solutions.
Deb’s story reflects the beautiful power of connection. It shows what happens when we find those people who make us feel safe and not judged. We begin to experience community that opens doors and provides support.
Love in Action combines the generous donations of our community to provide for local neighbors who face challenging situations. Love in action provided 316,000 meals, over 10,000 nights of shelter and hundreds of health care offerings to our neighbors in need. What’s more, as a community, we cultivate the opportunity to safely share the vulnerability of our situations, connect, and build friendships. We nurture a culture of us.