Patchwork has been busy lately! Every morning for the past couple weeks we’ve had a steady stream of people come through our building. I’m not sure of the underlying cause, but it’s been a noticeable increase.
The needs of the people who stop by Patchwork are varied. Several have been taking showers in our facilities, grateful for the opportunity to get clean. Others are stopping by to try to locate assistance for electric bills pushed higher by the hot summer. Others picked up a watermelon from the fresh produce outside the food pantry. Still others used our phone to contact agencies offering the assistance they needed. Some people just needed to talk to someone who would listen.
The food pantry has been busy, and many of the people using it are visiting for the first time ever. Last Wednesday, a woman asked if there were any vegetables she could take out of the garden. It just happened that Kristen, a Patchwork volunteer, was already out in the garden and was tickled to be able to point the woman toward the things ready to be harvested including tomatoes and okra. Last Monday we also hosted a workday for a group of UE freshmen. Their need? To get connected to their community. They helped with many projects including harvesting some of the most beautiful popcorn I have ever seen.
“Two ladies came into the office this morning. One was a mother who was desperate for help. They had been to several different places looking for parenting classes and said the other agencies couldn’t help, didn’t know where to look for help, and didn’t take the time to find help. After checking several different resources, I remembered Lampion Center. Dee Stein, Patchwork’s other administrative assistant, and I had visited there a couple weeks ago to learn more about the resources available in our community. I remembered they discussed helping parents learn parenting skills. I called and talked to someone at Lampion and they set up an appointment to meet with the woman and her children. The mom was also very interested in our after school programs and took a registration sheet to sign her kids up for our programs. They were very excited and thanked me over and over for taking the time to help them.”
Whoever it is that comes through our doors, we do our best to take time and to treat them with respect and dignity. It’s one of the things that makes Patchwork special.