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I wasted so much money…

I can remember like it was yesterday…

I was working full-time (granted it was a high stress job where I was on call 24/7) but I was gainfully employed.  When the money was coming in, I didn’t think twice about spending money on clothes because they were on sale, not because I LOVED them and knew I would wear them.  I also remember donating clothes with tags still on them to various charities because I never wore them.  O.K. – so that wasn’t necessarily a waste, but could have been better spent if the money went directly to the charity instead of on clothes that would sit in my closet until they went out of style.

I also remember taking up hobbies, spending money on so many “things” I didn’t need, being completely oblivious of the need just around the corner at MUST Ministries.  I knew there were homeless people – that’s what I called them… thinking nothing of how it made them feel to be called homeless.  I’ve learned homelessness is a temporary state of being, not a label.   Or families that struggled on a daily basis wondering where their next meal would come from, when I would buy too much produce and end up having to throw half of it out because it went bad.  I wasn’t very sympathetic.  I thought if they wanted to work badly enough, they’d get a job, even if they had to flip burgers.  I know now, it’s not that easy.

This was many years ago.  I have since then lost that great paying job due to falling ill because of all the stress and am currently only working part-time.  (Yes, we had savings and yes we went through all of it.  That’s another story.)  Not because that’s all I want to work, but because it’s difficult to find full-time employment despite my skills.  I have learned working with MUST Ministries these past few months just how blessed my family and I are.  Despite the hard times we’ve gone through, barely able to pay bills each month, barely having enough food to put on the table, we’ve been fortunate in that we DID have enough.  Did I ever have to go to bed hungry? O.K. – I admit it, I did a time or two because I couldn’t stomach the same thing day in and day out.  Eating on a tight budget doesn’t give you a lot of variety.    We’ve never had to not pay a bill in order to eat.  I’ve learned there are so many people who have gone through so many hardships and when I hear of their stories, I feel guilty.  Guilty for the money I wasted all those years ago.  Guilty for the time I spent unemployed sitting at home when I could have been serving those less fortunate than myself.

This has definitely been an eye-opening experience for me, and even though we’re still living paycheck to paycheck, I give to MUST Ministries every month, even if it’s just a little bit because I see first hand just how many lives they have changed and continue to change.  Have you thought of giving a little each month?

 

Want to Volunteer Thanksgiving Day?

Helping others at Thanksgiving

We see others on television, hear about them on the radio, read about them on various news sources.  The volunteers, the ones who give of themselves during the holidays before sitting with their own families, and for some, volunteering is thier holiday tradition.

If you’ve been considering volunteering during the holidays to help those in need, at the Elizabeth Inn, you can contact [email protected].  Help is needed for all shifts, preparation, serving, and clean up.  All volunteers must attend a meeting November 3rd beginning at 9:30 am at the shelter kitchen to learn the proper procedures so everyone can be organized in the small kitchen and dining room. The minimum age to volunteer at the Elizabeth Inn is 16.  More details:

When?  Thanksgiving Day / sign up by October 31 / attend November 3 meeting 9:30 am
Where? Elizabeth Inn Shelter 55 Elizabeth Church Road, Marietta
More Info? Lavon Minns at [email protected]

If you prefer a volunteer opportunity more suitable for all ages, you can volunteer for the upcoming Gobble Jog.   The 10th Annual Gobble Jog is coming soon and It’s Kind of a Big Deal!  Join us as we push toward 10,000 runners at MUST Ministries’ largest fund raiser and friend raiser! While you’re running (or walking), you will be helping more than 33,000 people struggling in poverty by assisting with groceries, hot meals, housing, emergency shelter, employment services, clothing and access to healthcare.  In addition, you’ll be reaching 15,000 children who benefit from these services, plus the MUST Summer Lunch and Christmas shop programs.  Come be a part of something important by helping with something that changes lives.

Your Thanksgiving Day will have new meaning.

10th Annual Gobble Jog – It’s Kind of a BIG Deal!

November 22, 2012

It's Kind of a BIG DealThe 10th Annual Gobble Jog is coming soon and It’s Kind of a Big Deal!  Join us as we push toward 10,000 runners at MUST Ministries’ largest fund raiser and friend raiser! while you’re running (or walking), your donation will be helping more than 33,000 people struggling in poverty by assisting with groceries, hot meals, housing, emergency shelter, employment services, clothing and access to healthcare. In addition, you’ll be reaching 15,000 children who benefit from these services, plus the MUST Summer  Lunch and Christmas shop programs. Come be a part of something important… something that changes lives. Your Thanksgiving Day will have new meaning.

Visit the official Gobble Jog website.

 

Seth’s Summer Lunch Story

I will never be the same.

 

This time last summer, I was walking across a beautiful college campus in North Georgia. Everything was green and flourishing. I strolled past large, brick dorms housing students who seemed to have every material thing and walked on past an “all you can eat” cafeteria full of unlimited food selections. I was blissfully oblivious that just a few miles away, there were children who had almost nothing and were desperate to eat a meal.

 

This week, I met some wonderful MUST volunteers in Cherokee County and we headed down Bells Ferry Road with 475 sack lunches packed in a bright red pick-up truck adorned with a large MUST Ministries magnet sign. As we entered the trailer park, I immediately saw little faces start to peak through the curtains pulled over the windows. We only needed to honk once and right away, hungry kids surrounded our vehicle!  The same thing happened over and over as we traveled to neighborhoods right down the road from where I live and work.

 

As noon approached, our large number of lunches depleted to just a few. We were nearing the end of our route and had one last family of three children to serve. I looked in the truck as the hot Georgia sun beat down on us and only one lunch remained. I felt heart-sick. How could this have happened? I thought we had plenty. “I’m so sorry,” I offered. They smiled sweetly back at me. “Maybe tomorrow,” they replied, and slowly turned to walk back toward their trailer.

 

About that time, a man and his son started to make their way toward us, carrying two sack lunches they had picked up earlier. The man was saying over and over, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” He explained that his daughter had picked up two lunches and so did his son, so they wanted to return two. All of the volunteers broke into wide smiles, knowing those two lunches were exactly what we needed to feed the last family. I was reminded of the words of a former minister of mine, “You always have more when you give.”

 

I can’t count the number of smiles and thank you’s we received as we traveled to neighborhoods, apartments and trailer parks all morning long. The children were so grateful, yet I knew who had benefited most. I will never be the same. Won’t you join me in supporting this important ministry and the many others that serve the 15,000 children MUST reaches annually?

 

Just click the DONATE NOW button and help make sure more children have food, clothing, healthcare, school supplies and other essentials provided by MUST. They’re counting on you to provide.

 

 

Seth Tuttle

Development

MUST Ministries

 

P.S. A little girl came out to see us before we left. She was carrying three bottles of cold water and raised her tiny hands toward us to offer us cold drinks.  She had so little, but she wanted to share.  She taught me a lot in that moment.