[In celebration of 20 years of service we are collecting 20 stories of people and events that helped to shape REMERGE. #20for20. This reflection was contributed by Giving Grace Director Christy Betz. We invite you to contribute a gift in celebration to honor this milestone.]

Some of the hard realities I was quickly confronted with when I started this work was the importance of community, the power of consistency, and the shear investment of time it takes to really make a lasting change in someone’s life. I guess I never really thought about it, but the way I had approached “charity” was to give a one time gift of clothes or money to someone and assume everything would then be fine. What I now know is that it takes consistent sharing of life and leveraging the gifts of a community.  But when we are willing to be in it for the long haul, miracles can happen:

> The very first mother we ever assisted will graduate this spring with a degree in pharmacy!

> Five years ago we helped a single mother of three avoid eviction. Having this bit of stability, she eventually got a much better paying job and moved into a better housing situation.  This year she re-signed a lease for the fourth time in the same house!

> One of the mothers we assisted in our first year to stay in her community now owns her own cleaning business!

I am grateful to be able to share life with these incredible women and for the Giving Grace community for all they do to help us make a lasting change.

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