The lack of adequate shelter beds in Spokane for women in crisis has been an on-going embarrassment for some time. Great article in The Spokesman-Review about the new women’s shelter opening up. Kudos to Union Gospel Mission for stepping up and making a significant investment toward resolving this problem. Unfortunately, as Phil Altmeyer (Executive Director at UGM) recently told me, even this won’t be enough. Read about it here.
My thanks to Chef Curtis Smith and his students from the Inland Northwest Culinary Academy at Spokane Community College for preparing and serving dinner to the men at Truth Ministries Men’s Shelter in Spokane! They prepared an incredible “Breakfast For Dinner” that will be hard to match! Truth Ministries has more opportunities available for individuals, churches or groups wanting to fix dinner for the men!
Wednesday is production day for our weekly radio program. Working on scripts in the morning over good coffee. Afternoon studio session. An hour of studio recording for a Roundtable is followed by two hours of “post-production” work, doing digital editing, adding music, getting the whole thing together within a specific time format of 57minutes and 45 seconds (:57:45). Recorded a great Roundtable featuring directors of local area homeless shelters; Rusty Barnett from VOA-Hope House (women), John Robertson from VOA-Crosswalk (teens) and Rich Schaus from UGM Women’s Crisis Shelter. Great people with lots of experience in these challenging areas of ministry to “the least of these.” Hear the whole interview Saturday morning a 10:00AM on KTW (630AM).
Gale and I have been spending the Thanksgiving Holidays with my family in North Carolina where I grew up. My 91-year-old mom still lives in the house we boys (3) grew up in. After Thanksgiving we traveled down to the coast where my younger brother and his family live on Ocean Isle Beach. After a long day which included a trip to the local Emergency Room (turned out to be nothing major, but disconcerting when you’re away from home) and a beautiful afternoon on the beach, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner out at a local restaurant. Our waitress (Marcie) was a talkative bundle of energy. She was actually glad to have worked on Thanksgiving Day (their busiest day) and was a little concerned that tonight was slow in her section. As we were preparing to leave Gale said, “I’ve got some extra ones if you want to leave her a little extra tip.” I gave her my “Cheshire Cat” grin which meant I had a different idea. You know, the look that makes spouses roll their eyes in a combination of fear and anticipation. I reached into my wallet and pulled out $20, along with a “My Brother’s Keeper” conspiracy card. I folded the bill up and placed the card on top, followed by a salt shaker to hold them in place. As we headed for the door I saw Marcie and said, “Left something on the table for you.” I always wonder how people will respond to such things. Our path back to the car took us by the window where we had been seated. “Look!” Gale said with an excited giggle. It was Marcie. She had raised the blind and was standing at the window, waving and patting her chest, saying “Thank you.” Sometimes, eating out is about more than the meal. It’s about those moments God offers us to connect with people and to do good. I like to think of it as sowing the seed of the Kingdom in forms people can understand and appreciate. Now, it’s your turn to do good and to spread the conspiracy!
Let’s take a moment and think about what it means to be part of a conspiracy of kindness and good deeds. In a previous post I talked about what it means to “Pay It Forward” (and yes, I discussed the Movie). Today I want to talk about a couple of simple and practical ways you can “do good” and spread the conspiracy!
Step 1: Start by buying some small envelopes. The ones featured here are #6 envelopes (measuring roughly 3.75 X 6.5) which I bought at a local Walmart Superstore. Nothing fancy. You can get a box of 50 for $1.97.
Step 2: Click here to download a PDF file for a page of 6 labels like the ones shown here. It is formatted to fit an Avery Shipping Label Template (Avery 8164 for ink jet, also available for laser) which you can buy at Walmart for under $5. Place the sheet of blank labels in your paper tray (face down in my printer), print a sheet and you’re ready for the next step. And, yes, this template will print just fine on plain printer paper which you can cut to size, but the labels just make it cleaner.
Step 3: The printed labels are a perfect fit for the envelope! Try one out and see!Step 4: Now the fun begins! This is a perfect delivery vehicle for a gift of cash or a gift card (such as Starbucks, Walmart, etc.), or a gift certificate.
Step 5: O.K., You should probably include an explanation along with an invitation to join the conspiracy and pay it forward. So, we’ve created a template that will let you do exactly that! It looks like what you see here.
Click to download a PDF file formatted as a business card (10 to a page) that will fit an Avery Business Card Template (Avery 8371). And, yes, this card will print just fine on plain printer paper which you can cut to size (but the labels just make it cleaner).
Action!: Now you’re ready to do some good and spread the conspiracy! Place the gift and the card in the envelope, put the label on and seal. You can deliver it personally, anonymously or via the mail. This gift envelope will fit inside a standard letter-sized mailing envelope. It will also fit inside most greeting cards! Be creative and have fun! Keep a couple of these handy and ready to hand out to a pan-handler, or to a waitress or server. Give it to the barrista at your favorite coffee driver-thru and tell them to give it to the next person in line.
We would love to hear your story of how you put this to good use, so use the “Contact Us” form in the menu to let us hear from you!
Now, go be a blessing to someone who needs it today. ~ Maurice