I work with some really wonderful ladies on this committee and always feel inadequate. They work so hard and I'm really lucky to work with each of them.
We also had the Elders Quorum, which includes KG, help on Tuesday night and Saturday morning setting up tables and moving them outside for us. Lots of others from the ward helped as well. It really is a whole ward effort.
The event went from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. We had people showing up at 8:00. The kicker? Everything is FREE! Doesn't matter how big or how small the item, it's all free. Our desire is to help out those that need help. We don't need money, which might inhibit some that truly need help. And it's not just for members of our ward. It's for anyone that lives in our ward boundaries and beyond. We gave fliers to shelters and refugee centers. Anyone we thought might benefit.
I think each person that volunteered on Saturday was inspired by someone different that showed up. I was the most touched by the refugee families. Families that came here with nothing, and are trying to start a new life. It was so humbling to find out what they needed and then walk with them through the rows of items collecting what they needed. Items such as clothing, sheets, blankets, washers/dryers, book cases, beds, tv cabinets, car seats, cribs, high chairs. Everything you'd need and take for granted in your home. One family that has only been here for two weeks left with an entire truck load, and only after the Dunkley's took them to their home to retrieve more items. I get emotional just thinking about how grateful people were to receive these things and also at their surprise that we wanted nothing in return! The pure joy we felt that day was payment enough.
We also provided free hot dogs, water, cotton candy and face painting.
Here are some photos I took from Denny because I forgot my camera.
Rows and rows of free stuff.
Sweet brother Dunkley offering hot dogs, and most importantly, his winning smile to all those he greeted.
Four of the committee members spoke in church on Sunday to share their experiences from the event. One in particular prompted tears to stream down my face. Not an easy task. She spoke of her experience two years ago, and now. The feelings and experiences she took away from each were vastly different due to the circumstances in her life being different. I didn't attend the last one and I regretted it once I heard the inspiring stories. Listening to Mandy's talk made me realize how much I was impacted by that event without even being there, and how far I've come since then, allowing this time to impact me in an entirely different way. Two years ago I didn't feel like I could help anyone and so I didn't go. But what I hadn't realized until now is how much help I received indirectly from it by the examples that are always around. Dang. I am so lucky to have such gracious, loving people around me everyday. Never needing credit for their kindness. This year I am in a better place and therefore found that the help I was giving others inspired me in a different way. This is sounding confusing without giving detail but suffice it to say that I was very uplifted after it was over and am very grateful for that.