We’re still over a month away from the First Day of Winter, and already the temperatures have dropped below freezing. I catch myself cursing the cold as I run from my car to my home.
Many people in neighboring communities, however, don’t have these luxuries. There’s no place warm to run to. In Newport, for example, the percentage of people living in poverty is 33.3% according to the July 1, 2018 U.S. Census Bureau. In Covington, it’s 25%.
Thankfully, there are non-profit agencies established in these communities, like St. Vincent DePaul (SVDP), recruiting volunteers and donors to help the less fortunate. Their efforts (including providing free meals, clothes, household items, shelter and counseling) are invaluable to the community. Yet, many working adults with charitable hearts, struggle finding time to volunteer. Their free time is rare. So having to choose between their families and volunteering outside the home sometimes seems unfair.
Growing up, my parents worked full-time, so while we weren’t regular volunteers anywhere, I do remember our family serving Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless, and stuffing St. Nick stockings for children in-need. Those memories, though few, have stuck with me. The message taking root because of the experience. (Thanks Kiki & Poppy!)
Everyone deserves opportunities to help. I think that’s why I love Family SpirFit Night so much.
Watching families come together to stretch, pray, and participate in a charitable way is so moving.
Last week, we had 15 families that came out to Family SpirFit. For admission, we collected coats, gloves and hats for SVDP’s Winter Coat Drive. After we stretched and prayed, the kids wrote Thanksgiving letters to put in SVDP Holiday Food Baskets and the adults wrote Thank-You letters to our local SVDP volunteers.
The evening was simple. No frills. No treats. No entertainment. Everyone who came, did so to be with their family, and a larger community, that helped some of the most at-need amongst us. I can’t brag enough about this little SpirFit community. Their hearts are so kind and generous. And yet, I think there are A LOT more people like them out there, if they’re given the opportunity to prove it.