Many years ago I had a back injury which while not serious it was a wakeup call that I needed to start taking better care of myself. After physical therapy and a disciplined workout routine I recovered and was better than ever. I wanted to take advantage of this newfound strength and to do some good with it. So I wondered “who could use a guy with a strong back and owned a pickup truck?” I luckily came across a small charity that collected furniture and distributed it to people transitioning from homelessness into apartment living. I loved the idea of what they did so I showed up one Saturday morning to see if they could use me.
It wasn’t long after my first delivery that I was hooked on helping these people who were working hard to get back on their feet. I took for granted that simple things like a coffee maker, a dresser or how a bed brought such simple satisfaction and drive to carry on. I enjoyed the smiles and gratitude that came with delivering dignity to our clients and knew that I was doing my small part in their lives to put them on a path for success.
As I helped I wanted to do more and eventually took over the responsibilities of scheduling the donations, deliveries, warehouse and working directly with the community services to help with the transition into apartment living. This was great for a couple of years but our small volunteer run group hit a plateau and we weren’t growing any longer. We needed a partner with greater resources to help more people. We had talked with Journey Home in years past but we still felt like we could do it on our own. We talked with Journey Home again in 2018 and we both decided that a merger would be in the best interest of the community and the people both organizations serve. We all want to end homelessness. It was truly a 1+1=3 idea. It’s a decision that I look back fondly upon and while I enjoy serving on the board I most enjoy spending time each week with our volunteers to serve those transitioning from homelessness into apartment living.