This day, as Liv and I were now stopped at a light, I saw a guy, maybe 25 years old, hair slicked back, white ribbed tank top, baggy shorts, cigarette in hand (yes, while he managed the bike, too!), speed past us in the opposite direction. I wondered where he was headed with such purpose. Watching him in my rear-view mirror, my heart suddenly felt light and a smile spread across my face as he came to a stop in front of the man with the sign. They talked for a few seconds as the cyclist handed him something. Then, turning back in the direction he’d come from, he rode away, obviously having done what he was so intent on doing.
I was so grateful to have been there to see that. Not only was it another witness of the goodness of humanity, but it was a reminder that I don’t seek out enough opportunities to help others. I’m right there if someone I know needs something easy done. Need a necklace fixed? I’m your gal. Want to know if those new cupboard handles look weird? I’m happy to tell you my honest opinion. Need a salad for that event? You bet. But I have been lazy about actually going out and looking for a way to be helpful.
Last week during church, the adults and youth (ages 12+) were gathered together for a special announcement: The Church has launched a new website called JustServe.org. When you go to the homepage, though, you’ll be hard-pressed to see anything that advertises it’s through the church.
After taking a look at our calendar and figuring what our crazy week entailed (our 16th wedding anniversary and Liv’s birthday), Rick and I decided that there couldn’t be a better way to celebrate than to participate in a family service project. We signed up online so that they knew we were coming, and at the scheduled time, we showed up at the United Way to sort through the thousands of newly donated books.
Over 47,000 books were collected during their recent book drive, and over twenty different local organizations will receive them for distribution, once cleaned and sorted. Our instructions were that if a book is not in the condition that someone would treasure, then we should recycle it. We categorized by age-appropriateness and recycled anything that was water-damaged, moldy, missing pages, etc.
It was so much fun! The kids each got to climb into the huge cardboard bins when we could no longer stretch far enough to reach in. They also got to work the pallet jack to move the enormous bins to the “sorted” location. And we had a great time laughing at some of the books we found. At one point, Ike handed me two books and said, “This one goes to the recycle and here’s another one with naked people on the cover. I don’t know where to put that one. What’s with all the naked people, anyway?” He was so nonchalant about it. He just cracked me up.
Some of our faves: