Some days, it’s not easy to work at Patchwork.
One of our guests spills coffee all over the floor. Someone takes their dog into the bathroom and tries to give it a shower. Someone hasn’t eaten yet today and can’t help but be grouchy with the food pantry staff. Someone comes in desperately looking for help and is unapologetic about the poor choices that got them into such a bad situation.
Shawn and Dee do a wonderful job of welcoming everyone into Patchwork with compassion and care, but some days it gets to be a lot to deal with.
Then someone comes through and gives back with their actions or a story. Here are two:
One man has showered at Patchwork for years now. He’s homeless and prefers to live outdoors rather than in a shelter, so we’re his primary shower facility. Two weeks ago, he remarked to Shawn that the shower curtain was getting moldy and he asked to clean it. He decided that a garden hose wouldn’t quite do the trick, so he took it by bike to a car wash and used the power washer to make it look like new. A few days later, he noted that the shower itself wasn’t looking very good, so he brought in some extra cleaners and spent an afternoon scrubbing at the gunky buildup with more elbow grease than anyone else was willing to apply. I can tell you, it looks like we have a new shower. He told Shawn that he didn’t want lots of thanks or pats on the back. It’s just that he appreciates us and wanted to help us out.
We recently met a woman who is raising her grandson. He is repeating a grade this year, so she enrolled him in our tutoring program. She said tutoring has already made a big difference in his attitude. She says he looks forward to coming to tutoring because he has homework help that she is not able to provide. She said he also looks forward to going to school in the morning because his homework is complete and his work is correct since he has had a tutor to help him understand it. She said she is very thankful that she can bring him here because our tutors do such a good job and they make him feel excited to come back each week.