Some Affirming News
I just thought you all might enjoy hearing of an encounter I had after the New Year. For me personally, it just made my day (and week and month).
I received a call from a young woman who works for an Oak Brook organization. She told me that her company had arranged to have a Christmas tree placed in their company lobby during the holiday season. It was a “mitten” tree, and all of the employees were encouraged to bring in new mittens, gloves and hats to decorate the tree. Before Christmas then, the decorating mittens would be donated to children in need, and the children of Bridge Communities had been chosen to receive them.
When the phone call came to me, it was mid-January. The Christmas season had become hectic and the mittens and hats had not been delivered as they had planned. The young woman phoning me was looking for an address so that she could ship the boxes to Bridge. I asked where the company was located, and she told me where they were in Lombard. Because I go that way quite often, I volunteered to just stop by and pick up the boxes a few days later.
Upon my arrival, the receptionist asked me to wait while she called two co-workers, Ashley and Carly*, to give me the boxes. I recognized Ashley’s name as the person who had called me, but did not know who Carly was. As I met the two women and as I was thanking them for their efforts, I asked them why they had chosen Bridge Communities as the recipient; I asked how they knew of us.
Carly responded to me that she was a graduate of Bridge Communities. She disclosed that she had been in the Bridge program in about 1997. She had fled a domestic violence situation, found Bridge Communities through Catholic Charities and eventually graduated from the Program. She had been employed by this company for the past 13 years.
The thing is, we do not often get to see the product of our work over a long period of time. We are usually so intensely involved with the here-and-now of transitional housing that we do not have the luxury of seeing how the most successful of our clients turn out in the long run. They are able to use our services for a very short period of their lives, return to the “real world” of life after transitional housing, raise their families, and become productive members of our society.
Bridge Communities and the partnering church did for Carly what we do for every client that enters our Program. We gave her an opportunity. We gave her nothing more. Carly did the work. The opportunity was what she needed. My thanks to all of you who do your part in giving Carly, and all those other hard-working folks who are in a difficult place, an opportunity.
Co-Founder, Bridge Communities