This Thanksgiving season is a time to remember what God has done in and through our lives and to count our blessings.
You might think that would be hard to do for someone in Lesa’s position. She lost her eyesight in one eye due to a stray bullet fired downtown. She lost her daughter to a bullet fired by her daughter’s friend. Now she lives on disability, and funds and food are tight. But amazingly, Lesa is still smiling.
Because of a little place you make possible, called Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Hope for Hunger Food Bank.
“I was at a nightclub one night and some people started fighting,” remembers Lesa. “I left to get a taxi and that’s when I heard some shooting. I started running, but then I blanked out. My friend said I went down grabbing my face. I’m not sure, but think something ricocheted and hit my right eye. I lost half my eyesight.”
Ever since that day, Lesa’s gotten by with the help of disability. But even with disability pay, sometimes the ends just don’t meet.
“A couple months ago I was getting low on food and I was looking for a job. A neighbor of mine knew about Hope for Hunger and he brought me up here. I heard they gave out food boxes, but when I got here, there was even more.”
Expecting to find help filling her pantry, she also found friendship, and a hand up.
“Ruben [Hope for Hunger Case Manager] helped me out with getting my state ID. He even helped me get this job with the convention center. I couldn’t see the application form on the computer, the type was too small, so Ruben sat and filled it out for me. I got an interview the next day!”
The whole process made a huge impact on Lesa. Now, every morning, Monday through Friday, Lesa walks 45 minutes from her home to serve as a volunteer at Hope for Hunger from 7:30 a.m. to noon.
“I help make the food boxes, pass the food out, and work the parking lot waving people in. I also help greet people and load the food in their car. This food bank is a good thing. People coming in can get help just like I did. Just sit down and talk with them, tell them what you’re going through and they can help you get through a lot of things.”
Lesa speaks from experience. After losing her eyesight and her daughter, she was in a dark place. Thanks to God’s love and the support of friends like you, she didn’t stay there for long.
“I saw it all cave in on me after I lost my daughter. But you can’t let it knock you down. You’ve got to keep going, because there’s a God and he’ll show you a better way. You don’t know what God has planned for you. That’s how you meet people like Ruben, very good people who put a smile on my face. As long as they let me keep coming here to get that smile, I can make it.”
Through your support, Hope for Hunger helps hundreds of families every month make ends meet, enabling them to stay safe and off the streets. But as the holidays approach and the numbers looking for hope this holiday season begin to swell, we need your support all the more.
If you’ve never had the privilege of handing a box of nutritious food to a hungry family, or help someone like Lesa connect with resources that can change a life, visit phoenixrescuemission.org/volunteer to sign up today!
Of course, we don’t all have the time or the ability to lend a physical hand. A financial gift works just as well to keep families safe this Thanksgiving!
No matter how you partner with us, you’ll know that, this Thanksgiving, when Lesa and hundreds of families like hers sit down to enjoy dinner, they’ll have a new reason to be thankful…