On Wednesday of this week, we visited Riverdale Elementary School and met with Ms. Veal (Principal) and Ms. Vazquez (Community Liaison) to present the “Uniforms of Hope” we raised during our #closetstrike campaign! The principal immediately grabbed a few children and shared the news with them! Below is a picture of their reaction when the uniforms were presented. Thank you if you were a part of us resourcing these schools!
This morning (5AM), I don’t know what to say… Yesterday we saw children SMILE! Have you ever had a moment where you know you’ve experienced something great but didn’t know how it came about? Well, I had a similar feeling when I walked around Sheltering Arms yesterday watching 20+ corporate professionals (from our corporate sponsor) serve, read to, teach, and paint the faces of 200 kids in that community.
We even had a nutritional superhero (Super Cooper) come out to teach kids the importance of eating healthy and exercising.
It was our first annual back to school kick-off promoting education in early childhood learning centers. Additionally, Northwestern raised over 256 books to help us promote literacy among families in the College Park community. It was an amazing day serving alongside Northwestern, Sheltering Arms, and Get Well Soon.
Below are a few pictures taken from the amazing day!
Yesterday, Mission MAD and one of the co-founders did a quick video. This group is one of our partners in Kentucky! This young guy drove from Kentucky to resource our organization with hygiene products to serve people in need. Check it out.
You ever been under water in a swimming pool for a considerable amount of time, and all of a sudden you spring out of the water gasping for air? Well, that’s what today feels like…
It feels like I have literally been under water wearing this same outfit for 90 DAYS straight, and I can now prepare myself to get some air… Why compare having no oxygen to wearing the same outfit? Simple. Each day was a struggle, presented a new challenged, was filled with embarrassment, and became psychologically and emotionally taxing. There were many times I found myself wanting to quit, or break out in tears, or even spring out of the “water of shame” to get some air.
“AGAIN…..” I’d wake up and say to myself.
However, the focus of this journey wasn’t about me! It was to gain a clear understanding of what children who battle poverty fell…. It gave me deeper understanding of how children are impacted emotionally, socially, and even psychologically (those who lack resources). When a child has to endure poverty, shame, and even socially isolating circumstances, it becomes damaging to their self-picture. When a self-image is destroyed, it is hard for any type of hope or confidence to be present (especially in a classroom setting). That’s why I am really excited that our organization will be able to help a little! We are aiming to encourage both educators and students! #lovebeyondwalls will soon present uniforms to four schools we are partnering with to aid families and children.
This past weekend, #lovebeyondwalls partnered with several people to pull off a BBQ in College View Hill Apartments on Saturday. We had over 30 volunteers, served over 250 people food, resourced 20 people with groceries, and led over 30 youth to faith.
A young man that worked with us named Demetrious Nimmons had each of those young people sign the basketball after declaring their faith in the Lord. Below is a collage of a few pictures from this past weekend. Also, this BBQ day made DAY 85 in on the #closetstrike journey!
Today is DAY 84 of #closetstrike… I have many mixed emotions when I look at this calendar. Fear, hope, joy, shame, and many more. I’ve given up everything I own for this many days to help children in need. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing God called me to love His people.
I love a passage found in Matthew 4:19 when Jesus says, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men…” I believe what Christ was saying was saying was let me show you how to identify with those who suffer, and introduce them to God’s love and redemption. I hope that every uniform we raise releases God’s tangible love to those families who are in need.
Literally, I have been wearing the same outfit 83 DAYS straight! And, if I can be honest I want to tap out right now! Why? One of my shoes is completely busted (meaning I have a shoe and a half), my shirt is not even white anymore, and my pants are falling a apart at the bottom. Talk about humbling…
This journey has given me even more compassion for students in Title 1 schools who struggle with poverty, and has also increased my awareness to pay attention to the stories right around me. You never know what a person is going through!
Although I want to give up, I am not… Even if that means walking in one shoe! I am deeply inspired to go the journey so #lovebeyondwalls can start uniform closets in four Title 1 Schools.
Below are the picture for my shoe and shirt…
This past Tuesday, @ladiesatlanta (chapter of the national organization Ladies America) partnered with us to raise uniforms for the Title 1 schools we are adopting for our #closetstrike campaign! This chapter had a networking event, and invited our team out to be their special guest. #lovebeyondwalls got a chance to share the mission & vision with this great group of people.
Next week, LeCrew, LLC will partner with us to raise the remaining uniforms before the #closetsrtike campaign ends. We are grateful and excited for God connecting us with people who have a heart to serve!
Today is DAY 77 in one outfit! Only 13 DAYS left… My (Terence) shoe is almost completely gone! I am literally determined to see this #closetstrike journey all the way through… Why? Because we’ll get to bless many children without resources in their closets at home… This has been both the most humbling, humiliating, and rewarding journey ever in life… Lord, give me strength to go the distance. #lovebeyondwalls