Ripple Effect

You’ve probably heard of the ripple effect, but have you seen it in action? I have, when I was about to give up hope. And I believe it was God giving me a sign not to give up, that I am making a difference. Even if in a small way, if you can make a change in someone’s life, they will touch someone’s life, and that ripple spreads.

Let me tell you this story and I hope it inspires you to help someone in your life who may be struggling. Volunteer for an .org that helps people, the rewards are more than you can imagine.

Most people are not aware, even my husband until right before we married, that although my situation has been very problematic for a while, I bake and cook to donate to a local food pantry. Its something I feel called to do because though all our other resources are limited or nonexistent, I have more than enough food and it would feel not right not to share in my abundance.

It brings me joy in so many ways. I love to cook and bake, it’s a relaxer for me to create. I love to feed people, the joy on their faces and to hear the “umm so good!” as they take that first bite. I just want to squeeze them because that tells me that yes, I did my best and it was pleasing to them 🙂

The food pantry is there for people who are hard-working, but just don’t make enough to feed their families on top of providing a roof/utilities. Because they are working, most don’t qualify for assistance through the govt (i.e. food stamps). It’s a no-win situation for them and it’s one of the wrongs in our society I’m trying to change. No one should go to bed hungry. No one.

Ok, so on to the ripple effect. I was busy during that time attempting to get food donations for the pantry from local groceries because my resources were falling down and the food coming from my kitchen was becoming a strain. So I thought to contact the local groceries to see if they would help, they could donate the food, I could cook it, and the cycle could continue.

So I spoke with the two women in charge of running the pantry; they thought it was a great idea but they warned me that the stores were probably going to turn me down (which they did, but that’s another story). So they gave me some of their business cards and off I go.

A few weeks later, I was feeling a little hopeless. Running low on food myself I was thinking to quit. It was a food pantry day (they are only open Mon., Thurs., Sat.) but I went ahead and made food to take over.

I normally just slip in and out right as they open, so usually don’t interact with the folks there except to say “hi”. I thought pretty much only people who knew me were the two women in charge and a handful of kitchen workers.

Well, that wasn’t the case. I did errands, then returned home and another idea came to me. So I was shocked when I called Beth to tell her my idea, she said “oh don’t worry, we found your ID and credit cards here”. What?!

I keep a small purse attached to my keys and slip the key ring over my finger (like a ring) to carry them easily when I have my hands full. I had no clue while carrying stuff that I was also leaving behind a trail of IDs and credit cards.

Well, heart pounding… thinking I can cancel the CCs if all are not there and they will send new. But what of the IDs? I don’t have the money for another driver’s license and definitely not enough for another conceal carry license. “Ok, just wait to get there before panicking” I tell myself.

I arrive; everything is there, thank God! Beth says “someone brought these inside, they recognized you from your IDs and said ‘the lady who brings food must have dropped these'”. I was surprised that anyone would have recognized me (thought I was sly getting in/out of there quickly)!

You would have to know the area, it’s a very poor area and people are in need. So it was surprising to me that anyone would return the credit cards. Almost everywhere you go here, you swipe the credit card for yourself at the terminal and cashier never touches it; there is no verification of who you are.
Anyone could have taken those and gone on a shopping spree: grocery, gasoline, clothes. But they didn’t. They did the right thing.

As I was leaving a lady came up to me and said “I knew that was you! When I found your IDs and credit cards, I said ‘that’s the lady who cooks all the good food!’ so I gave them to the lady who runs this place”. She asked if everything was there and I assured her that I’d gotten everything back.

I hugged her and thanked her so much. As I walked away she said “I normally wouldn’t have done it but your food is so good…” and I laughed. But when I turned to look at her, the serious look on her face gave me a chill.

If that woman did something kind because of something I did, then it is possible to change people through your actions. You can make a difference.

It gave me the incentive to keep going and find a way to continue my work. It also made me thankful to my grandma, who taught me so much; the ripples she made live on in me.


1 Comment

  1. August 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    […] I respect those who have a heart… a caring, compassionate, loving, empathetic heart. A person such as this sees the wrongs of the world and does their part to promote change. Sometimes it feels like it doesn’t make a difference, but it does; even doing a little can have a ripple effect! […]

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