This week Kelly's Show Us Your Life is about charities. :)
When I was in college I was president of Gamma Alpha Lambda, (GAL) a Christian Sorority in its second year of life. It now has 4 chapters and is in its 7th year of existence. I was lucky enough that God used me to help move the organization from a Missouri State thing to a national thing. GAL's philanthropy was The Potter's House, which we all nicknamed PoHo.
My first year of college I learned about The Potter's House. A not-for-profit coffee shop just across the street from campus which was also a covert ministry to college students through the Nazarene church. Many students went there initially because their drinks were about half the price of Starbucks. Many students continued going there because it of the loving atmosphere and incredible people. My friend, Hal, used to describe it like Cheers, where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came.
About a month into college I began volunteering as a barista at PoHo. I learned how to whip up lattes, teas, hot chocolate, and any other coffee or hot drink you could concoct. My favorite part was getting to talk to the students as they waited for their order. We would talk about our classes, home, sports, or their dating life. They would share their joys, struggles and concerns, then go on their way. Many students came in just to say hi to Berna and Steve, who started The Potter's House about 10 years ago.
I can not tell you how many girls would come in each evening needing Berna for some sort of advice. She was our college mom. My junior and senior year of college I was lucky enough to be in one of the Bible studies she led in the PoHo basement. We worked through so many insecurities, doubts, and fears and learned who we were in God's eyes instead of the eyes of the world. There were tears, laughter, but most of all there was love. The Potter's House was our refuge, our college home.
I spent many evenings there just hanging out with my roomie, Kathleen, or my BFFs, the B4 girls. (We were nicknamed B4 because there were 4 of us who met for breakfast "b4" class.) Every Saturday I woke up at 8:30 to go clean the house top to bottom with my sorority sisters. A lot of our chapter events centered around the PoHo. It is where I held my exec meetings and our bid night ceremonies. So many of my memories center around Potter's House.
I'm so grateful that there are people in the world willing to give. That there are people willing to risk it all just to show kindness to others. So often I find myself being incredibly selfish and unwilling to help, but that gets me no where. It is my hope that whenever I see anyone in need, or lonely, or hurting that I will bestow the same love on them that was shown me at PoHo. They didn't have to be there for us, but they were, and for that I will be forever grateful.