When Angie Howell volunteered to shop and deliver groceries to widows for PRUMC outreach partner HopeWorks, her initial thought was just to help. “I’m able-bodied and able to drive, and I thought it would also be a good way for my daughters to help and have a distraction from the isolation,” she says. What she hadn’t anticipated was the level of emotion they would all feel.
“We got four ladies’ names from HopeWorks,” Angie says, “and we call to check on them each week. We’re just two weeks in, and so far, only one has taken us up on the offer of groceries. But they are all so very appreciative of the fact that we’re calling, that we would want to do this for them. They tell me how they are praying so hard for all of us. One recited a special prayer she was making for our family. Their strong faith, even in the midst of ongoing challenges and now this pandemic, is such an example for my daughters and me. I saw the same thing with one of these widows a little while back, on a site visit ahead of a Great Day of Service project. I was having a bad day, and we were starting to realize we might have to cancel the whole Great Day. I knew that meant this lady wouldn’t get her project done, so I told her that I would be praying for her though that probably didn’t feel like much of a substitute at the moment. She looked at me so intently and said, ‘Honey, I want to tell you that prayer is everything! Everything!’ Well, I can tell you that brought me right out of any bad day I thought I was having!”
Angie notes that the widow who requested food asked only for prepared chicken, potatoes, sausage, cookies, rice, and some OJ and apple juice, which Angie and her daughters easily picked up from Publix and a nearby casserole shop. “My younger daughter also added a piece of embroidery she did, part of a hobby she’s taken up during the isolation,” Angie says. “All of this has been such a testimony for me, to see family and friends reaching out to help where they can, and to see how people feel when they receive it. We all need to know that this isn’t ‘service’ – this is love that goes back and forth.”
For more information on becoming a “helper” for HopeWorks or another PRUMC partner, please contact Beth Spencer, Director of Local Outreach and Volunteer Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.