Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! This week we gather in our homes with family and friends for a time of fellowship and feasting. We embrace a little longer, laugh a little harder, and love a little deeper. Together we share stories and memories and give thanks for our many blessings.
At ASP, we want to thank all of our donors and volunteers who make our work possible. This summer we were able to host 12,356 volunteers, complete 2,818 different repair projects, and help 355 families make their homes warmer, safer, and drier.
One family we served was the Holidays. Jean Holiday is an incredible woman who cares for her three older sisters: Shirley, Mary, and Margaret who all have special needs. She took her sisters in to ensure they had the best possible care. Jean said she never knew what God intended her life to be until she started caring for her sisters. She gives them a voice that so many people have tried to diminish, and she loves and fights for them as people.
ASP joined Jean this summer to make their house handicap accessible for her sisters. We installed insulation, drywall, siding, and a new roof to make their home warmer, safer, and drier. The four sisters now live in their recently-repaired childhood home, calling it a congregation house and a house of peace. They love having Jean’s children and grandchildren over to hang out at the house, and together they do lots of puzzles.
Our volunteers said, “Every time you walk into their room they love to give lots of big hugs and sugar kisses to everyone they see. Jean treats you like you are a part of the family.”
As we take a step back this weekend, we are reminded of the beautiful things in life, things that are universal no matter who you are or where you are from. The love of family, the safety of a warm, dry home to celebrate in.
We are so grateful to be able to serve wonderful families like the Holiday sisters. However, it is during these holidays that I always take a moment to stop and think. Each year there are thousands of families who apply for home repairs and replacements through ASP. We are thankful for the 300 we are able to work with, but there is still more we could do. There are damaged floors, dripping faucets, failing foundations, and repairs that have piled up and become unmanageable. There are homes that will be cold for tomorrow’s dinner. There are people who cannot go to their family’s Thanksgiving meal because they don’t have a wheelchair ramp to safely exit their house. There are children who will eat their dessert in the living room because the roof above the kitchen is leaking.
When you sit down for your Thanksgiving meal tomorrow, in your warm, safe, dry home, I ask that you take a moment and say a prayer for the families who do not have the privilege of doing the same.
We thank you so much for your support of our mission! Because of you, every year hundreds more families are able to gather safely in their homes for the holidays. So let’s take tomorrow to celebrate all that we have to be thankful for and all that we have accomplished—but then, let’s get back to work.
Lily Crosby, ASP Advancement Fellow