Everything is a miracle
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
When I reflect on the last four months at the local Salvation Army the words of Charles Dickens come to mind, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” In early December it became glaringly obvious that scores of people from Parachute to Aspen were losing their jobs. Of course the timing was terrible, the high energy bills were arriving and the holidays were around the corner. Prior to the economic downturn, my average clients were made up of people who live from paycheck to paycheck, who are thrown off balance by a medical emergency or an unexpected vehicle repair. These people need a bit of help to get back on track. Since December I have been inundated with people who have worked their entire lives and are now unemployed for the first time. These people, our friends and neighbors, are afraid, saddened, and humiliated to be in a position where they are not self-sufficient. Each day since December our lobby at the old St. Stephen’s Church is reminiscent of the videos showing lines during the Great Depression. Vast numbers of people are struggling to retain their housing, keep the utilities on and put food on the table. I know that I am one of many human service workers who have spent countless hours reassuring and problem-solving with people.
The plaque on the wall of my office quoting Albert Einstein reads; “There are two ways to live your life,” One is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.” These words have never resonated so strongly for me as they have in these past months. As Christmas grew closer I received calls from panicked parents who had hoped things would turn around and they could have some type of Christmas, but it hadn’t happened. This is when the miracles began to happen. Individuals and businesses reached out and adopted families, brought gifts, gift cards, money, and food. Hundreds of people stood out in the freezing cold and rang bells for extra hours because they knew the need was great. People appeared to wrap and deliver gifts and food and the miracles have been occurring ever since. I was overwhelmed the entire winter with the response to the warm weather gear drive. We were able to pass on hundreds of donated items, many of which were cleaned for free by local cleaners. It seems that the harder the times get the more people are reaching out to help each other. Many of the unemployed people are volunteering their time and services to help others in need. Every day along with the calls for help, I get calls asking what I need. Although I am tired and overwhelmed, I am also reminded each day of how blessed I am to live in a community where people are concerned about the well-being of others, and are still willing to reach out on a daily basis to their neighbors in need.
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P.O. Box 2964
Glenwood Springs, CO 81602
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