Patchwork was closed, for the most part, from Monday to Wednesday this week because of the winter storm. We didn’t want to risk injury or accidents for any of our staff or volunteers if they attempted to get out in the snow.
However, John and I could safely walk over to Patchwork each morning to make sure that none of our guests were waiting in the frigid cold for coffee and a shower. Several of the folks who frequent Patchwork spend the night outdoors and likely have no way of knowing that EVSC has cancelled classes so Patchwork is closed.
None of the mornings this week were as busy as usual, but there was still plenty of activity. Monday we went through two pots of coffee, despite being officially closed. Tuesday there were a few showers and a man was able to keep his meeting with his parole officer. The man also did some cleaning for us while he was here.
Most of our guests are like that. They try to help out or contribute where they can in gratitude for the hospitality that they receive from Patchwork. We enjoy visiting with them, hearing the interesting stories from their lives, and getting to know them as human beings.
Over the last few weeks, one man has taken it upon himself to clean at least one thing in the building every day he’s here so that things will continue to look nice. He even cleaned up after a few guests who were not as considerate and left messes in the shower. Another donated $5 toward our coffee supply. Another continues on his personal mission to keep our shower looking good by cleaning it regularly using extra elbow grease.
Another man was simply grateful that he received exactly what he needed when he needed it last week. His adult daughter was having a birthday later in the week. He inquired in the food pantry and was very pleased to find the perfect birthday cake there. However, he relies on a bike for transportation and couldn’t find a way to carry the cake without destroying it. Since the man is a regular, John offered to drive him and the cake home. The man was so grateful that everything worked out and that he would have a cake for his daughter.