"Park View has been such a blessing to me. I thank God for the staff. May God bless them."
"I have further learned the meaning of 'Letting go and letting God lead my life'"
about lives that are changed - We call them
"Miracles on Memorial"
Creative Volunteers Capitalize on COVID
When you have that "volunteer spirit" but are unable to congregate with others, you find ways to help from home. Some are calling our neighbors to check on them, some are gathering financial support, and others are standing with us through encouraging words. Three individuals in particular, Bob and Bette Bibee and Holly Frazier, are using their talents to raise money for Park View as they sew face masks and donate the proceeds. Bette and Bob are long time volunteers, and Bette had been teaching sewing classes at the Life Skills Institute until it closed. She and Bob have been creating masks for sale from their front porch, with many neighbors giving more than the asking price. Holly Frazier is one of our newer supporters who heard about us from her friends, and has sent us the profits from her online mask sales. Through their combined efforts, more than $7500 has been raised so we can continue to provide life-changing assistance to others!
Volunteers see a need and an opportunity, which makes them heroes in our eyes. In the words of Mr. Rogers...
What people are saying about the Life Skills Institute
"This class taught me a lot about ways of better saving money, making the best use of my time, and also taught me to better care for myself. Thank you for supporting this class."
"I have learned a lot from this class about cleaning products and washing clothes that I had never learned. And it has also helped me with being in a group setting."
"My goal is not to be scared to learn more, and get out of the fear of doing things."
A Testimonial from one of our volunteers
I recently retired, and found that volunteering has given me a new purpose. Throughout my working career I tried to give a tithe and offerings to my church, but it was more out of a sense of "ought to" than "want to." We had children to raise and bills to pay, and giving was important, but not really fun.
Then came the time when the house was paid for, the children flew the nest, and retirement brought a steady income. It seems giving has become not only easier, but an adventure! (It especially makes me smile to know what my dollars are doing at Park View.)
So when I read your Christmas email about the joy of giving, it meant a lot because of an advertisement I had saved from the previous Christmas. This department store used a catchy slogan, “Give joy, get joy.” It may be the best four-word sermon ever preached, and even more so because it came from a for-profit business! When I give, purely for the sake of giving to others, the satisfaction that comes back to me is indescribable.
So now when I volunteer here, I think of that slogan. Whatever job it is I'm doing, I think about someone's life being made a little more joyful, and it makes me smile. Thank you, Park View, for the chance I have to change lives this year by being a part of what you do. Keep spreading joy!
We Call Them "Divine Intersections"
Sometimes, loving your neighbor isn't a coincidence.
A woman came to the Clothing Connection and explained several needs she and her family were facing, but the most important item she hoped to find was a blanket. Sadly, we had none at that time. As she finished filling her bag with clothes and was about to leave, she asked if we might be getting any blankets in the future because she had no heat. Another woman, just coming in with a donation, overheard her and said, "I have some! I should have brought them." They made a "blanket connection..." the two women exchanged phone numbers so they could meet later.
One of our volunteer van drivers parked the van in the lot and accidentally locked the key inside, and there was no spare. While waiting for a locksmith to come, a man pulled into the parking lot to get food, and did the same thing with his key! After the locksmith arrived and began his work, the volunteer explained how our mission is to love our neighbors, and asked if he would open both vehicles, which he did for only the minimum charge. Then the locksmith asked if we could use infant formula. He had several cases in his car because his family no longer needed them. The volunteer thanked the locksmith and brought it to the Personal Care room. It was just a few moments earlier that a young mother had come in and asked for that very thing!
The man in the car was grateful for the help, the locksmith was happy to donate, the mother was blessed with formula, and the volunteer was so glad to play a part in it all, he paid for a spare key for the van!
From One of Our Neighbors
"I have been almost two years clean and sober and I found my sobriety with the help of Park View.
I have watched you all for years pour compassion, kindness, understanding and love into the "less fortunate" souls such as myself. Your generosity comes from a place of love and mercy. Everyone I have ever had the pleasure of knowing that worked for you and shared in your mission has been humble and sincere and not once did I ever feel judged or shamed.
That said, I am reaching out to you for a few reasons... first to tell you that though the number of those plagued with homelessness seem to be at an all time high and despite the fact that you may have more mouths to feed today than yesterday... there are people who have benefited and who have succeeded in their lives because of the work you are doing. What the Park View Community has done for me has certainly put me in a better place, mentally, emotionally, and financially.
That brings me to my second reason for emailing. Now that I am in a "better place," I would love to give back. I don't have much in the way of money or material things, but I have time and I have gratitude and I have positive energy that the Holy Spirit breathes into me every day. I want to "give back." I recently finished my training to be a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist. With a scholarship from the UP Foundation, I was able to attend the training led by Dr. James Stewart. Before I am able to take the State Certification test, I am required to volunteer a certain number of hours helping my peers who suffer with mental illness, substance abuse, or those who, once like myself, were just going through a hard time.
I am a big believer in perception. We must look at our trials as though they are happening FOR us not TO us. Besides, James 1: 2-4 says 'Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.'
I believe that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers and I know my life can serve as a testimony for those still suffering and living in darkness. Thanks again for everything you stand for, everything you have done, and continue to do for the Lynchburg and surrounding areas.
You are truly changing people's lives. I'm living proof of that."