By Teena Larson
AHUMC surely answered the call for help and jumped in with both feet to assist our two assigned Afghan refugee families relocating to San Antonio along with about 1,000 total families coming here as our military withdrew from Afghanistan! What an inspiration you are as such kindhearted people willing to help others!! As chairperson for this event, I am overwhelmed by your generosity!
Not only did you completely furnish two apartments for our assigned groups, but you also gave items to four additional families still in need. With all the leftover items, we will be able to assist even more going forward!
I had so much fun hunting for bargains at local Thrift Shops to buy needed items such as tables and chairs, dishes, silverware, pots/pans, linens, lamps, toys, furniture, and more. Although used items, they certainly had life left in them and saved us money plus helped local nonprofit groups such as the Fort Sam Houston Thrift Shop, The Green Door Thrift Shop operated by St Luke’s Episcopal Church, and the Thrift House Operated by the Assistance League of San Antonio. This was a huge double win for multiple local organizations as well as helping our Afghan families with what they required.
Then came all the items purchased and/or donated by not only AHUMC members, but also family and friends as word spread of our efforts. We received donated things such as couches x 3, table/chair sets x 3, living room chairs, desks, beds, TV’s, nightstands, end tables, dressers, lamps, stools, dishes, linens, hangers, toys, winter clothing, extra garage storage space, etc. Plus individuals and/or groups purchased linens, vacuums, kitchen utensils, small appliances, bath essentials, pillows, toys, TV and so much more!
Then came delivery weekend where a 26 foot U-Haul truck was needed to make it happen!! Nine energetic volunteers loaded the truck and delivered most of the two households on Friday, December 17 while another 8 hearty soles came out in the rain on Saturday, December 18 to deliver the remaining items! A job well done by all and not enough words to express my appreciation for these folks as well as all those who donated things or money to support this effort. By my tally, there were more than 50 individuals and/or groups who made this possible!
If you could have seen the happy faces as we offloaded the trucks to these families, it would make your day and all the work worthwhile! The beautiful children were especially excited and wanted to help. We received many smiles, handshakes, hugs, and thanks from recipients, even with no English for most, we knew our efforts were appreciated!
Thanks a million for riding this tidal wave with me and improving the lives of “the least of these” who needed us. Our efforts enriched the lives of people who gave up everything they knew, came here with nothing to escape a dangerous place, and asked for our charity. This is what being a Christian community is all about and I think God is smiling for our efforts.
God Bless You All!