If you wish to contribute to this discussion,
please contact program coordinator Charisma Thomas.
"I would like to thank you for your assistance for my family! If I would not have had your help, I would be on the streets. You are a wonderful group. I would like to give a special thanks to Charisma, she helped us out in a very professional way. She went out of her way to get the paper work done right, even after work hours!"
One Abundant Day
How do we measure success?
One way is to count the number of “burgers served.” This month we reached the 100 mark at the Big Heart Wellness Center – 100 guests whose lives have been impacted by our network of wraparound services, and the case management provided by Charisma Thomas. 100 families whose lives are a little bit better, who have made connections to the support they need to improve their nutrition, their mental health, and their sense of security.
Another, perhaps deeper way to measure this success is “one day at a time,” or one story at a time. Two Thursdays ago – another hot day, with bills to pay, sermons to write, and families to feed – we experienced abundant success.
First, an elderly Asian food pantry guest returned to speak with Charisma about his health, which he had expressed concern about earlier in the week. He left smiling, and feeling supported by services and by our Wellness Center. “I am not alone,” he realized aloud.
Next, a family of three Filipino immigrants met with Charisma about their health and housing concerns. She connected them with services to help remove some barriers preventing them from getting the housing they need and deserve, including Bay Area Legal Aid.
Finally, a young man – new in town and referred by another local agency – dropped by to see us. He had lost his wallet and identification, and could therefore not apply for the assistance he needed for housing and employment; he was seeking funds to get a new ID printed. We were able not only to give him the resources he needed for his new ID, but Charisma met with him about ways to find housing, as well as the mental health support he needed for his PTSD. He called the next week to tell us, “I got my identification, and I may have a job offer, too! Thank you for helping me. I wanted you to know I’m doing better.”
Better. We may not have eradicated poverty, hunger, or homelessness this week, but we helped some folks to make their lives “better.” Until the day when we no longer have neighbors in line every week at our food pantry, we will keep trying for “better” and giving our best.
Luke 10:42 —
“…but few things are needed — or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
The Big Heart Wellness Center was a huge blessing to our family in a time of great financial need. The past winter's electricity bill was beyond what I could ever pay, with no way to even make payment arrangements, in what was in excess of $1,600.
For a single Mom with two children, recently disabled and unable to work, we are ever so thankful for Charisma and the referral to the "Season of Sharing" program. It's this program that gives struggling families hope and the means to make their life better, and a bridge of hope to help those with no help in very difficult times.
Thank you for helping our family, and for all you do for others.
A Thankful client!