Stories are what make situations real to people who are otherwise detached from them. I hear about a situation and want to help out in some way, but until something or someone pulls on my heart strings, it doesn-™t motivate me.
I began my internship at MUST Ministries excited to help my neighbors in need. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what MUST does and as far as programs and help offered, I did. What I didn-™t know, were the stories hidden behind what they do here and why. I underestimated the impact of experiences of the clients and their journeys.
One of my key responsibilities during my internship was to help organize MUST-™s first ever health fair. I thought I knew the impact this would have on our clients, but I was mistaken. Throughout the day, I heard stories from various clients and other staff members who had spoken to clients about how the health fair helped them and change their lives.
One man found a suit from a group donating free clothing to those enrolled in the health fair. That sounds great, but this suit was special. He had a job interview the very next day and didn-™t have anything to wear to it prior to the event. Everyone knows first impressions can make or break a job interview. This suit gave him the chance to make a good first impression and be well on his way to supporting himself once again.
Another man walked all the way from Cartersville (a good 25 miles at least) in old, worn-out shoes that were badly in need of replacing. From the same donation group, he received a gem: a pair of hiking boots in his exact size- name brand, top of the line, and good as new. Since he walks everywhere, this was perfect and such a delight to him.
Throughout the summer, I also went on some summer lunch deliveries. I knew that many children relied on this program as their sole meal for the day throughout the summer. Think about how many times a day you get hungry and get up to grab a snack. Take that hunger and add the heat of the summer that drains your energy. To me, it is unbelievable how these children can play outside in the heat, with only one meal a day.
In my last summer lunch delivery, I discovered that many of the children will eat only half of their lunches, then save the rest for dinner-� smart idea. I know it would be incredibly difficult for me to not eat it all in one sitting. Could you?
The stories behind the situation show the true impact of what MUST is doing. Though we don-™t always think about it, these are individuals- not groups or statistics- and individuals with unique stories about their journeys in life. Your help gives these individuals a chance to create a new chapter in their lives- a chapter filled with hope. Why waste time and sit in front of the T.V. hearing about generic situations when you can not only make an impact, but also find out the stories each person has to tell and be a part of their stories? It will open your eyes and change the way you think forever.
- Jennifer Germano