What is the Sequoia project?

My photo
Wausau, Wisconsin, United States
The Sequoia tree is one of the largest in the world. The seed is the size of a grain of wheat. One kind act will often seem unimportant but has ripple effects across humanity.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Helped at a charity.

This week we picked a random faith based charity to donate time to. Our daughter-in-law Jennie worked at it and mentioned that they had some clothes that needed to be sorted, folded, and hung up. The staff at this charity see people come and go at a steady flow. All are in need of some sort of assistance.

This is a period of time when our nation is struggling to overcome many challenges. They say “Wall Street” got drunk. I say it was the greedy who got greedier, betting it all on numbers and crooked books. The result has pushed America to the brink of another great depression. What we do will define our actions to the next generation. How will they later judge us by our actions today? Do we help the ones who lost their jobs and homes? Do we help feed the hungry or give shelter to the homeless? A new winter is coming and there is real fear in the air for some. Will they be able to heat their home? Will they be able to find work after having been laid off? What happens if someone in their family becomes sick? These are serious times we live in. Millions of people are asking themselves these very real questions.

When I showed up to work Jennie showed me a room full of boxes and bags filled with donated clothing. I was first taken back a little. What had I got myself into? As I began sorting through the clothing I came across things I had no clue how to fold or hang. I thought a skirt was a pillow case.

This gave me an opportunity to really help make a difference. It didn’t seem like it at first, but as I watched people come and go I learned how important of a role these workers played in helping humanity. The clients they helped often had the look of despair in their faces. It showed in their eyes. They had come to the right place. Problems weren’t always fixed but they left feeling a little more hope (this also showed in their eyes). They greeted their clients with kindness and a smile, knowing that their own funding was the lowest it had ever been. They showed everyone respect and dignity. I could tell that everyone was overwhelmed with work. Jennie seen up to 20 to 30 people, herself, each day. I felt bad for them. To see so many lives hurting, day after day, phone call after phone call, would be tough. To have a room that needed hours of organizing took time away from lives that really needed help. Every action has a reaction. The time this project took helped more lives receive the attention they deserved and needed.

I learned a couple different things donating time to this charity. One was how much of a humanitarian Jennie was, and how many coat hangers a 2000 Saturn could hold. A large department store in the area stepped up to the plate and donated thousands of hangers to the project. The hangers filled the inside of the car completely! I never thought I’d be driving anywhere with a car literally full of hangers!

In every town there are charities and organizations trying to help make a better world. Their work is often gone unappreciated and unseen. It doesn’t always take a cash donation to make a difference. Sometimes it can be as simple as making a phone call and asking to help. Go to the places that need the help the most. You never know what the response will be.

These projects of helping others unexpectedly have also impacted my life personally. I had a lot of past resentment towards this faith based organization that ran this charity. I had very legit reasons but blamed an entire faith for the wrong actions of one person. I was able to show forgiveness (40 some years later) by helping them today. It did me as much good as I did for them.