Volunteer Spotlight: Polly Perry, "How Helping the Homeless Has Benefited Me"
On Tuesday afternoons, I go downtown to Hemming Park to serve the homeless people with A Time For Change Movement. I have been doing this for a little over a month now and so far, God has surpassed my expectations. I never thought that by serving the homeless, I would be the one to benefit. I am learning and growing. Also, I am fulfilling scriptures where Jesus tells us to reach out to the poor. Lastly, I am gaining valuable friendships that perhaps would not have been formed in any other circumstance.
Like most people do, I came into this experience with many ideas of what things will be like and how I can quickly and effectively create change. I thought that in a matter of days, the people I help would make up their minds, based on my advice, and leave their life of homelessness. Oh how I was wrong. I soon learned that being homeless is for many, a way of life. For others, homelessness is not something that they want, but life's circumstances have led them there. These notions helped me to understand and grow in areas of compassion, patience, and prayer.
Moreover, there are plenty of scriptures in the Bible that speaks about blessing the poor. One passage of scripture that speaks to me comes from Luke 12:33:
“Sell your possessions and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.”
By serving the homeless every Tuesday, I am fulfilling these scriptures and it is a blessing and an honor I delight in.
Finally, I have met some pretty awesome people, like Kristen, Kaleel, and Annette, through working with the outreach. It makes my day to hear them refer to me as their “friend.” Sometimes we pray together. Most times, we offer the people food and water. We talk. We laugh. We share. They are no different than I. I look forward to seeing them every Tuesday and when I am around them, I can just be myself. They actually bring me out of my shell, as I am rather shy and I can be a shoulder to lean on and be a prayer warrior, fighting in their corner. A Time For Change Movement encourages friendships and open honest communication. I love being a part of this group.
Working with the homeless, and serving those in need, is a life changing experience. It has surpassed my expectations. I am learning and growing, fulfilling scriptures, and making long lasting friendships with ordinary people. I deeply enjoy what I do. With so many people in need, how can I not lend a hand to help their cause? I am so thankful for what part I get to play to change another person’s life.
By Marvette Polly Perry July 26, 2017