• 1JustCity

The Impact Of Paying It Forward

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

A few months ago, we had a new man join our drop-in. He was a senior citizen, and he had never had to visit a place like St. Matthews Maryland before. But then a whole bunch of things happened to him all at once, including the sudden loss of his wife, and he found himself homeless.

We were able to support him through this time; welcoming him into community and helping him to find a new place to live. Despite his circumstances he was a joyful presence in the drop-in and was always quick to lend a hand.

A few days before he was supposed to move into his new place, he showed up at the drop-in and we could tell something was wrong. He had tears in his eyes and he told us that when he lost his home, he had been able to store some of his things at a friend’s apartment. Now that he was moving into a new place, he went back to collect his things and found that this “friend” had disappeared. He lost everything all over again. He was most upset about having lost every photo he had of his wife.

But the next day, something special happened. When this man showed up at the drop-in, another member of the community handed him a wrapped gift. He took it, opened it up, and found a framed copy of his wife’s obituary, with a photo. The man was so moved by this gift, he sat down and broke into tears.

I don’t know where that community member found a copy of the obituary, or how they managed to find a frame and wrapping paper on such a short notice, with few resources of their own to speak of! But to me, this story speaks to the true importance of 1JustCity and our outreach sites. This man lost everything, twice! But thanks to the community that has been built here, the community that is sustained by your support, this man has been able to find a new start with a new community that loves and cares about him.

Thanks to you 1JustCity is supporting communities to support each other.

By Josh Ward

Community Minister, 1JustCity St Matthews Maryland Community Ministry