Last night, I sat there listening to a former homeless mother share her story. Guests were just arriving and they were off to the VIP reception which was absolutely beautiful. Kimberly and I sat down at a quiet table as I asked her what The Gathering Inn had meant to her. She said, “The Gathering Inn had saved her life and her children’s.” No one plans to be homeless. In her video, prior to the live paddle raise (fund-a-need) she shared that she had loaned the little money she had in savings to a friend (which she shared was her first mistake) and then shortly after was laid off from her job. She saw a flyer for The Gathering Inn. She was sleeping in her car. As the nights got cold, she found shelter in a local church for her and her children. The Gathering Inn provided food, a warm shower and the support she needed to get back on her feet. The Gathering Inn provides a hand up not a hand out.
And then, Kimberly began to take a pause and begin to get choked up. She began to proceed with her story. Her 6 year old daughter used to love to take a bath and now there wasn’t that opportunity as the shelter provided a shower. That moment, she began to cry as she fast forwarded to today. Now, Kimberly is employed full time and has her own place for her and her kids. She smiled with happy tears as she went on to say and now I praise God every time my daughter gets to enjoy a nice bath in our home. As we sat there, hugged and talked about all the good that is in her life now she shared that God and finding Jesus in everything was her greatest gift. She went onto say that before The Gathering Inn she didn’t believe. She shared, coming out of homelessness and transforming her life and her children’s life she found an even greater blessing in God because of all His love others at The Gathering Inn gave her. The beauty of it all is that she is now the donation coordinator at The Gathering Inn and spends lots of her time motivating and listening to homeless people that come to The Gathering Inn. Paying it forward and making a difference!
Kimberly’s story inspired and move our supporters in a huge way because in the next 10 minutes we raised over $100,000 in our fund-a-need which was $50,000 more than before!
Learn more about The Gathering Inn here: http://www.thegatheringinn.com/