"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:34). Serving the community, praying and loving each one of them. This mission is like a double-edge sword in that BOTH hearts get pierced. Those who serve and those who get served...coming together as One. ~Mireya Fouche, Founder.
This is the third year of UMATTER: WINTER DRIVE and it seems as if every year God has more and more in store for usall. This year we were able to partner up with new businesses, get new people involved with serving others, and engage many more. One thing I've learned is that people want to get involved, often times they just don't know where to start. Many people who came out the first year had never volunteered a day in their life and three years later they're right alongside us in the highways and byways! Create an opportunity and it will be taken advantage of. I hope I'm able to help you capture the night of UMATTER StreetTeam and encourage you to be a blessing to others. A smile, an acknowledgment, a prayer goes a long way...Love.
The morning started out rough as the rain dripped, the snow dropped, and the wind left a chilling smack on my cheek. Typically this would be horrible weather for me to be out and about, however on this day I was in love. I was SupaCited! This weather excited me because I knew that the nights mission was to serve others, to help others, to love others, and to bring warmth to those in need. No better weather than this to hit the streets and take the hundreds of winter items out!
An amazing volunteer, Linda McLaren, helped me take the winter items from storage to the meeting grounds, meanwhile Rebecca Ruiz (the partnering rockstar) had the meeting grounds organized with people who were laying the foundation for the big night. We get there at about 4pm shortly followed by two cars filled with volunteers. At this point we have fourteen hands bringing in bags and bags of winter items that were collected through partnership. Everyone greets one another, strangers and friends alike, ready to do the same mission. We start with the sorting of coats, sweatshirts, socks, hats, ect. The piles are getting higher and higher...this is like a birthday celebration for me! We break out into groups and head out. Each location we went to developed humble hearts, gratefulness, love, and prayer. Another Amazing night! This year we were also able to go into a shelter and engage in relationships with the men & women there. It's always a blessing to hear their stories and just be. Hope fills the room as one women says, "I haven't spoken to my son in years. I just want to pray that he's okay." Meanwhile a man says, "I lost my job, then lost my house, then lost my family..." and also asks for prayer. Laughter, stories, conversation, and hope fills the room. The truth is different people have different reasons for experiencing homelessness. This is the beauty of UMATTER; we not only believe it but we live by it by sharing time with those who are often ignored.
I'm so thankful to the partnering locations: AT&T, Clark/Adams Building, High Ridge YMCA, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty, Scott D. Pollock & Associates, Teena Mia, New Life Tri-Taylor, and Willye B. White Park. Help from Many brings Hope to All.