Saturday, July 18, 2009

stepping out of the zone

See that woman in the orange shirt? Ginny is her name. She is an icon in the regional community. For the past 30 years, she has been completely devoted to sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry and clothing numberless individuals who have no options. We invited her to church last April to speak to us. She shared her story, and it was touching. As a new move-in to this area with three small boys, she found herself in a position of needing help, and no where to go. She opened the thrift shop as a means of providing for her young family. It quickly morphed into MUCH more, and Ginny provides this help to anyone who needs it. The motto of Relief Society is "Charity Never Faileth." Ginny isn't a member of the Relief Society, but in my mind, she should be the president (not me). This week we came to her shop and tried to give back.An amazing thing happened. She just kept on giving, and the 17 women who showed up to help walked away feeling more like they had been served. Ginny is like that. She currently gives out 77 bags of food each day. A bag contains enough items to provide three balanced meals.
She provides beds and showers to dozens. She allows them to launder their clothes and to work in her store. We hung, sized and sorted clothing. She single-handedly runs a very smooth operation, and some of the time it felt more like we were in her way, or that she was continuing to give, by allowing us to come in and sort clothes.
We had a tour of her enormous warehouse of giving.
I know that for some, coming to Ginny's was a big step outside of their comfort zone. I hope they'll come back. This was a much better use of an Enrichment Night than sitting at a table in the climate-controlled cultural hall at church and being served a meal. Or entertained.

I'm feeling the need to create a Relief Society "counter-culture," to borrow a phrase. It's time to plant OUTside the zone.

9 comments:

rebecca said...

I hear you loud and clear. What a great enrichment. I'm always on the lookout for good ideas for our RS, and THIS is great. Thanks for sharing.

shirlgirl said...

What a great lady! She is certainly reaching out to many.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

"This was a much better use of an Enrichment Night than sitting at a table in the climate-controlled cultural hall at church and being served a meal."

YES!!!!!!! In two years and Enrichment Leader I could never get this across. Maybe I just need to find someplace I can go . . . .

Becky said...

What a GREAT experience. We have a lady just like this in our ward. Thanks for sharing this.

LL said...

GOOD FOR YOU! What a neat enrichment....she sounds like an amazing lady.

Jo Jo said...

This is fantastic. Keep going back. She needs to be in Relief Society!

Jeannette said...

LOVED this. Thank you for sharing:)

Rachael said...

Inspiring!

Jane said...

Loved reading about this, and seeing a picture of Diane, that was fun too!