“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.” – Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
They say that in the modern day, miracles no longer happen. Don’t believe it.
Here’s the story of one mother’s heart, and how it widened and stretched until the world was turned upside-down (in a good way) for another local mother and her sweet baby within days. I’ll call them “D” and “Baby D.”
D, 19, came to our area in October looking for a better life for herself and Baby D. She was able to secure an apartment, but some furniture she thought would follow through a local assistance program was given to someone else. She had a place to live but little to put in it. Eventually, she found a job and daycare for Baby D and began taking steps to earn her GED.
Enter “Mommy G,” a local mother of five and daycare provider who happily welcomed Baby D into her life and quickly let him settle into her heart as well. “One day I was watching my little ones play downstairs in my daycare,” said Mommy G. “I thought of how all of these children had a nice home to go home to… except (Baby D). It killed me to think that he had no crib, few toys, no furniture, etc.”
So she got to work, doing what she does best: making connections. From her home office, she created an email message and sent it out to about 75 families and a few women’s church groups. About 65 responded and participated in one way or another. The goal: to solicit items to help provide for this young family. “We didn’t want people to give money – she can’t actually receive it without affecting her state assistance,” Mommy G explained. “But personal property is ok, so we asked people to look into their donation piles and see if they could find things for an apartment. I did expect to find some basic items she could use. I didn’t expect the results we got.”
Some donated items, some donated time, some helped clean the apartment, a few gave gift cards for local stores to fill in the gaps and buy groceries. Within a short span of nine days, the entire apartment was furnished and decorated. “We covered all the basics – bedroom furniture, family room furniture (including table and chairs), crib, highchair, baby items and diapers, kitchen supplies and dishes, shelves, decorating items, etc. Too many items to list,” Mommy G said.
Here are some of the before and after shots:
Of the kitchen:
Of the family room:
Of the bedroom:
Mommy G says three major things will always remain fixed in her head and heart from that week:
1) Nine days to change a life. “Everyone who responded seemed to have a piece of the apartment puzzle that fit perfectly. I’ve always known that God provides, but in this case he seemed to provide and color coordinate at the same time. Odd things like a donated burgundy and gold satin lamp with tassels that coordinated perfectly to the burgundy and gold satin comforter…Everyone’s odds and ends in the donation piles of our homes found a perfect place in the home they were always meant to be in.”
2) The mother-heart and friendship effect. “Now, everyone can imagine the shock and happiness that D went through when we surprised her, but I don’t think people imagine the powerful impact of something like this on ourselves. Giving is an easy, natural thing to do – something that feels good in our hearts and honors the God that created us. But we all are guilty of getting so busy with our lives that we don’t exercise our giving spirits enough. So when someone does present an opportunity to give…it’s no surprise that people want to be involved,” Mommy G said. She’s amazed, too, by the “friends of friends” who took part, and thankful for having crossed paths with so many of them, even if just through a quick handshake and “Hi” while receiving items. “It was an emotional feeling that I can’t quite describe. It gave form to the old saying, ‘Any friend of yours is a friend of mine.’ “
3) Basic needs met = full steam ahead. “Now that the basic needs of her life were taken care of, (D) immediately started the steps to complete her GED. When her GED is behind her, she plans to go on to college,” said Mommy G. “How fast would she have done these things without being able to get on her feet? Who knows? I’m sure many have done it with much less and juggling much more. All I know is that my sweet Baby D now has a beautiful place to call home and that his mom is on the right track to create amazing possibilities for their life. And somehow me and all of my friends were a part of that in some small way, and that feels good.”
Mommy G wants to give a heartfelt thanks to all those who took part, and to tell people who are thinking about helping someone in need to “quit thinking about it and just do it. No matter how small the effort is (a card to cheer someone up, a visit to someone in the hospital, donating food to a shelter, going over and cleaning your overwhelmed best friend’s kitchen floor) or how big the effort becomes (building a house with Habitat for Humanity, granting a life-changing Christmas wish to a family in need…) just START it. Coming from the heart and with God orchestrating your efforts, it will always be successful and wrap your recipient in the loving embrace of friendship.”
If you’re still skeptical about the possibility of modern-day miracles, perhaps the faces of D and Baby D upon seeing their “new” home for the first time will convince you:
Thanks, Mommy G, for initiating this explosion of love, and thanks for letting us be a part of it!
“Good works are links that form a chain of love.” – Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta