Who are the women who have made a difference in your life? This week I have been reflecting on the wonderful women in my own family as well as the women who make a difference in my community. The world is a better place because these mothers and nurturers are in it.
One example is Wendy Osborne, founder of Tabitha’s Way, a local food pantry. When we first moved to this town, I discovered that Wendy was inviting families to come help restock the food pantry. We spent an hour shelving peanut butter and other canned goods. My family was young, and we certainly weren’t fast, but she praised our efforts and made the children feel important about the service they were doing. Because of that positive experience, years later my daughter willingly signed up to volunteer as soon as she was old enough to help during their regular shifts.
Before and during the pandemic, my teenage daughter and I enjoyed stocking the shelves. Our shift was only an hour or two and it was a nice time to talk together. Working there, we were able to see more of the needs in our community.
More women as angels came to our aid as we communicated those needs. Neighbors donated coats, canned goods, toiletries, and even egg cartons. For a time, there was a need for plastic bags. One sweet woman would drop off bags on my porch after her all-night shifts. It warmed my soul every time I opened my door and saw her donation.
What impressed me most about these experiences, is there was something each of us could do depending on our time, talents, and abilities. Whether we can donate monetarily, give of our time, share from our pantry or gardens, or even pass along egg cartons/plastic bags – every effort is appreciated! We can all seek inspiration about ways that we can help in our community through worthwhile causes.
When my husband was laid off and looking for work for over six months, I was grateful for these creative ways to serve when we were limited financially. Blessings came into my life as I shared ways to help Tabitha’s Way and other charities on social media. I found I could be the gatherer and deliverer for many worthy causes even when I didn’t have much to give myself. Many in my area were willing to drop off donations on my doorstep over the years for me to pass on to charities.
One night, we too, were the beneficiaries of much appreciated service. Over a dozen bags of groceries were left on our doorstep. There were happy tears in my eyes that night as my young daughter danced around our living room like it was Christmas shouting, “somebody sure loves us!” Because of this beautiful act of compassion, my family has much sweeter memories from this difficult time. I am grateful for the anonymous givers who stepped in to provide and care for my family.
All of these experiences rippled from that first experience in the food pantry with Wendy. Her invitation, her patience was just what my family needed. I know there are many mothers, many Wendys around the world providing similar service and inspiration in their homes and communities. I honor them today for their unsung work – the meals provided, the heads lifted, the hands offered. Thank God for mothers – the ones who give us life and the ones who make our lives better!