From the first time I walked through the door at The River, I had a feeling of hope. I didn’t know what to expect, but forming relationships and watching lives change right before my eyes was not what I anticipated. There have been many women come through for help. Homeless, down and out, and broken, they come to get the help they need. They come to escape for a little while, get job training, wash clothes, have a meal and maybe get a haircut. They can take classes and training in areas that will help them succeed. These are the little things we take for granted sometimes. I know I did. I was only supposed to be there temporarily. The regular girl that had been volunteering needed to stop, and I told a customer of mine that I would help out. I could pitch in for a while until they found somebody that wanted to do it permanently. I didn’t mind helping out, but I was not staying. That person was not going to be me. I was a newer mom and extremely busy with my three year old son. Now, my son is thirteen and I can’t believe ten years went by so fast. I guess it’s safe to say that I am now the regular girl. Women still come. Sometimes they come in and just want a friendly face and someone to listen. Other times, they may be preparing for a job search or interview. Some days, they may not want to talk, but just relax. In every case though, something as simple as a haircut and blow dry can make them feel better, stand taller, and feel like they could conquer the world. Being able to contribute in this way brings immeasurable feelings of joy and accomplishment. It is not me though. I can see God’s hand in the process. Temporary turned into 10 years and counting. I used to think that because I was serving, they received from me, but the women I have met have given me way more than I could have ever given to them. It has been a blessing, and I believe I will keep on being the regular girl.
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