By The Very Rev. Daniel P. Richards
The opportunities to reach out with time and money are endless it seems. For those who work in the community of Traverse City it is clear that the needs people have are varied and sometimes very difficult to answer.
But then there is toothpaste. Everyone needs toothpaste. The hygiene pantry in the Jubilee House at Grace Church is a simple room. Through it, we are able to touch simple needs directly. Everyone needs toothpaste and deodorant.
I had a man break down in tears one day when I asked him which deodorant he wore because we had several brands. He had been on the streets for a couple of months after losing his job and lease in the same couple of weeks. He is back to work now and comes by to drop off Old Spice Fiji deodorant every couple of weeks.
A mother of two teenage girls came in to ask for help and turned deep red trying to get up the nerve to ask for feminine products of me in a collar on a day when all the women in the office were out. The Spirit elbowed me, and I blurted out, “Let me show you a place where I can let you pick out some basic things that don’t come from a refrigerator.” I handed her a paper bag, and Glenda took her down to take care of her girls.
These things aren’t really life or death. They are life and dignity. They are simple needs, but meeting them makes a profound difference. So we do what we can.
Thank you for supporting more than just survival. Your support means a few teenage girls go to school every week feeling taking care of. It means a man gets to smell like he will make it out of the moment he is caught in. The hygiene pantry means life a little more abundant, and that is what we are all about.