When I started LLH I had no idea what a huge change it would make in my life. I enjoy meeting every guest that I have. I have learned, through their stories, what it is like to live a life and the struggles that go with being homeless. I do not mean that as a “look at me having the comforts of life”, but rather a “what more can I do more to help.” The look on their faces of pure appreciation is priceless. In all honestly, I am not sure who gets more out of the newfound friendship. I am pretty sure it is me. I offer the program to aid them in restoring dignity, but they give me a chance to practice my passion and fulfill my purpose. I have made relationships through the 3 years that have become family to me. Who would have thought neighbors I would have never met would turn into people that are so important to me?
When I started LLH I was constantly researching, typing up a game plan, filling out all required nonprofit paperwork, and writing grants. My family adjusted to not having mom time, my husband took over cooking meals, and I spent endless nights trying to work out all the kinks before the first event. I could never tell them enough how much I appreciate their patience with the journey of fulfilling my passion and purpose. Three years later my husband and son run supplies for me and are as compassionate as I am. When we first began, they volunteered their time at the events, helped pack everything in and out at the events. They now help organize our donated supplies and when I can’t run for the phone fast enough, they answer it for me, take down messages or can even answer their questions and make appointments. In addition to them, I have the most caring and nonjudgmental volunteers that truly care about everyone that walks through the laundromat doors. Several of our board members volunteered. I am so thankful to have board members that not only care about our success but truly care for our guests and their dignity. I am blessed
This past year I have had the honor of meeting my donors either face to face or over the phone. I will never get enough of hearing their stories of why they feel compelled to donate. I am in awe of all the stories, most all involve “paying it forward”. I am reminded just what an amazing valley we live in where neighbors help neighbors. All give without wanting anything back. It is almost like we all have a secret pack and know that when we are able, we will pay it forward.
I know everyone is probably wondering why the sudden change in our name. When I started LLH, I used that name so we could be included in their LL map and people could find help in the area they were in. Recently it became apparent that we need to branch off and become our own. So, we came up with a new name that symbolizes what we are all about: DIGNITY. Now that we can offer showers the full definition of dignity can be achieved and our neighbors can feel the full effect of dignity, something some of us feel every day after a shower and pulling clean clothes off a hanger.
Our success is because of YOU! All of you supported our mission, spread the word, and understand the true worth of having dignity. Whenever I express what we need, to offer to our guests, you answer the call and bring in the supplies. You are the ones that know the need is great in our valley and go beyond to partner with us to help. Please know that I appreciate your help more than a thank you card or a typed thank you could ever express. Go Team!!!