Bridge of Hope

Thirty blogs later, I am finally getting to Bridge of Hope.  The delayed blog on Bridge of Hope is not at all related to its impact on my life.  Because its impact has been monumental.

What is Bridge of Hope?

A nonprofit organization dedicated to helping distressed families through transitions by providing furniture, clothing, food, and community building activities.  Refugees from all over the world as well as families facing various crises in San Diego are helped by this organization.

Bridge of Hope is one of many options to serve through my church.  To be honest, none of the options ever jumped out and screamed at me “Yes! Perfect Fit!”

So I stalled.

For two years.

Waiting for the perfect volunteer opportunity to fall into my lap.

On January 13, 2012, I took a small step.  I contacted Sheri, the woman (and now a dear friend) who started Bridge of Hope to see if they needed help.  She suggested I come on a Saturday to help with crafts.

Here is my experience with crafts . . .

None.

Here is my interest in craft-like activities . . .

Zero.

But I showed up anyway.

What happened?

I brought some sort of paper flower making craft (Thanks T for the idea!) and the kids loved it.  The day was crazy and busy and buzzing with families from all over the world.  A beautiful mix of cultures where people are being fed literally and figuratively.

How did I feel?  My shy and introverted self who is sometimes uncomfortable around new people felt out of place.  I didn’t know anyone.  My life didn’t change.  I left thinking that Bridge of Hope is amazing but maybe not the “perfect” fit for me as a volunteer.

But . . .I decided to show up . . .just one more time.

And this time it was for an event where the children from Bridge of Hope came to Mission Beach to partner with my church’s homeless ministry and provide lunch for the people who live outside.  I volunteered to drive some kids from City Heights to Mission Beach.

That day changed everything.

Not only did I get to witness the refugee and homeless communities come together and bond over sandwiches and wiffle ball, but I got to know some of the kids.  I felt a bit more comfortable.  I learned some people’s names.  Some people learned mine.

Over a year later, I have story after story of how I have been blessed by the community at Bridge of Hope.  I go there as often as possible and actually spend almost as much time in City Heights as I do in Carmel Valley.

So, if you’re tempted to write something off as not the “perfect” fit, give it one more try.

And if you’re tempted not to show up,

Show up anyway.

Always Hopeful,

Colleen

P.S. Thank you for the texts, emails, and comments from the last blog.  I felt SO encouraged!!

BOH at Mission Beach

BOH and the Branch

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Comments

  1. Amy Dalton says

    Sometimes showing up for the most uncomfortable things really does end up being the most life changing!! So true!!

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