As I sit here and think of how The House of the Harvest has impacted my life and my families, I really do not know where to start, but I will start at the beginning…
On February 2, 2015 we lost my dad to a massive stroke. As we laid him to rest my husband and I knew what we had to do. We could not leave my mama to live by herself. I knew we had some serious convincing to do. But she did agree and we have had her since. When she did come to live with us I knew I needed to try and keep her busy. So I started signing her up for volunteering at my daughter’s school. We both were longing for something to fill the void we had in our lives.
After Thanksgiving dinner I saw a post about House of the Harvest and knew I wanted to try and volunteer some way and have my children have that experience as well of seeing God’s work first hand. I then contacted Adam Walker and inquired how we could help and what requirements we had to have, and he simply said just be here at 8:00 am on Saturday morning. So myself, mother, daughter and youngest son went one Saturday morning and when I tell you when I walked in that door if you are not a true believer in God’s presence you will be when you leave. We found out what needed to be done and got it done. When we left that day I have not ever felt so humbled ever in my life. It was a feeling you never want to lose.
On the way home my daughter asked,”Do you think I could make cookies for the kids?” Well, I lost it.. I cried all day and knew this is where we needed to be. I contacted Jennifer Walker and she said, “Of course.” Well the following Friday night was like a cookie bakeoff in my kitchen. Then, that following Saturday, she gave out the cookies, not knowing she would actually give out to one of her former classmates. I think that is when it really hit her heart that she was actually helping people she knew and that she needed to do more.
We have tried to be there every Saturday and have met some of the most wonderful people, volunteers and shoppers alike. The bonds and friendships we have made through this journey are like no other. It is truly like having church service on Saturday. And to think it all started with just two hearts, Adam and Jennifer Walker, and now has blossomed into an entire community.
My mother and I also help with the local elementary school food and clothing closet and have seen it grow with the help of the House of the Harvest. We would get snacks and extra food for the kids at the school. One Friday we were giving the food out for the weekend, one precious little girl said with real excitement, “We get pop tarts this week?” My heart sank, oh how much we take for granted, needless to say she got four boxes. I told my daughter that afternoon what had happened, and out of nowhere she said, “I wonder if they would let me raise money for the House of the Harvest at school and the closet at school?” The next day we asked Emily Scroggins, the counselor at the school, and she said, “Of course.” In a week and a half the school raised $100.07. That is all it took to try and do more. A teacher contacted me and asked could her club, Kids for Change, do something for the House of Harvest? We were so excited to see how God was starting to show up. They raised $1000.00 in less than two weeks! Mrs. Vandiver, the club sponsor, could not believe how much they raised in just the last two days. The school went from $40 to over $1,000 in just two days. We had talked two days before the final count and she was so discouraged and I told her to just pray on it. How excited we all were to see the final count!
When I try and explain how much the House of the Harvest has changed my life I just look to my daughter and see how much she has grown since the first visit, and I also see how much closer we are as a family by just listening and being obedient to God’s command for us to love and serve others, as we received more than we have ever given.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to experience this life changing experience.
Shannon, Rosemary, Emma, and Carson