Your Words Matter
Although life looks different today compared to what it was last year, there are still people who are struggling daily and in need. Many organizations are getting creative on how they can continue to serve their community and still meet those needs.
In one week, Samaritan’s Feet and their Hope Notes initiative were part of two different feeding programs in the greater Charlotte area. When families arrived to pick up meals for the day or week, they also received a little encouragement from a stranger.
At Lake Wylie Elementary School, approximately 300 meals are given out each day to students in the southwest region with help from long-time Samaritan’s Feet partner Good Shepherd Church. “Good Shepherd has partnered with Samaritan’s Feet for years helping process shoes in the warehouse. Obviously we can’t do that right now, so instead, we promoted the Hope Notes on our website so our members could participate that way,” said Kristi Phillips, Director of Missions, Good Shepherd Church.
Cars pulled through the line that rainy day and parents announced how many children were in the family. As a volunteer walked to the car with the appropriate number of meals and Hope Notes, you could see children peeking their heads above the window in the backseat to get a glimpse of what was coming. Often the parents would pass the Hope Note to the child and they would eagerly begin reading it.
“A note from a stranger really means a lot. This note may be the only encouragement they get that day. A lot of kids who are staying at home are in bad situations or an unsafe home. So if they get a note of encouragement or someone says ‘you are good’ or ‘you can do this’ that could mean so much to them,” Phillips said.
A few days later Ebenezer Baptist Church hosted a mobile food giveaway with Loaves and Fishes for 500 individuals. And they also wanted to give a little hope.
“Bringing hope back in, it makes so much of a difference. Hope Notes just makes sense right now, to give someone encouragement and just give people a glimpse of hope,” said Xzavier Curry, event organizer.
Hope Notes were added to meal boxes containing food for seven days which were placed in trunks and backseats. We can only imagine the smiles as our neighbors see and read the Hope Note on the top of that box when arriving back home.
“People right now are stumped, they’re dealing with layoffs and other difficulties. They may be down to their last check and may be thinking ‘I need some hope, this is my last check’ and then a Hope Note comes and gives them encouragement—that check for $700 may seem like it’s $7,000 in that moment,” said Curry.