Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Benefits Far Exceed the Elbow Grease...

I love the company I work for. CB Richard Ellis is a commercial real estate firm that has a charitable arm called "CBRE Cares." I'm blessed to be part of this committee here in Michigan. Each quarter we undertake a major volunteer objective to help benefit the community, and this time it was Grace Centers of Hope, a Michigan institution when it comes to aiding the homeless and helping the downtrodden resume a Godly, socially beneficial life.
There were two projects going on today - a porch demolition/rehab at one house, and the interior painting of a sizeable home right next to it. CBRE recruited 50 volunteers, splitting them up between the two projects. In tandem with my husband and daughter, I worked on the interior painting project and met an amazing man. I'll call him Joe.
Joe worked side by side with our team and we got to talking. He's part of Grace Centers of Hope, and is in year two of GCH's three year 'rehab' program. He was energetic, engaging, helpful, and a joy to spend time with. He credits God, and GCH for helping him get back on his feet following a battle with alcohol abuse.
GCH has claimed a several block radius of the city of Pontiac. Their 'campus' so to speak, is located in a part of the city that used to be overrun by drug pushers and a level of crime that makes me shiver to even consider. It is now one of the safest areas of the city. GCH has purchased homes, in cash, with no federal or state funding. They believe in helping neighbors and those in need the old fashioned way, by actively recruiting willing people to help a worthy cause and seeking donations.
Here's the kicker: It's working!
I felt so honored to be part of this endeavor. There's something fantastic and uplifting about knowing that a few hours of my time and effort equals benefit to those in need. It shocked me to be told by a representative of GCH that there are 300 FAMILIES ... yes FAMILIES ... on waiting lists to claim space at GCH in the months to come because there's simply way more need than supply.
So, if you can, give volunteering a thought. It'll warm you through, and give people who need it the most a leg-up in their lives and circumstances.
God bless!!

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