They stay strong after a tragedy
Between three major floods and a large fire, about 4,570 families around the Austin, Texas, area were devastated between May 2015 and May 2016. With the help of Austin Disaster Relief Network, a network of more than 175 churches, those families were able to get back on their feet. One family of seven who’d lost everything in a flood, “shopped” at the organization’s thrift store to pick up free supplies. They shared that all seven had been sharing one toothbrush while sleeping in their cars, but a hygiene kit ensured they finally had enough for each family member.
They make anyone feel welcomed
Soon after her daughter made the decision to attend Western Kentucky University, Becky Monroe and her family popped into a Bowling Green, Kentucky, dress shop. When the mother-daughter team running the store heard the girl would be attending that fall, they immediately opened their arms to her. They gave him their phone numbers, invited her for dinner after she started classes, and offered a babysitting gig or job at the dress shop if she needed extra money. “Sure, their offers were kind, but it was in the way they did it that left us all speechless. Their sincerity was so genuine,” writes Monroe. “By the time we left the store, we were all hugging and I was holding back tears.”
They make you feel special
When 21-month-old Eli Sims was diagnosed with liver cancer, the entire Clay County, Alabama, community rallied around the little boy. In addition to holding fundraisers and prayer meetings in Eli’s honor, they made him feel special. He was grand marshal of the Ashland Christmas Parade, and the Ashland Volunteer Fire Department deemed Eli and his two older brothers honorary firefighters. When Eli passed away at three years old, hundreds of people showed up to the funeral.