I was recently invited to speak at Wesley United Methodist Church at a gathering of all the ladies circles . It was the week Sister Isaac was visiting, and I honestly hoped I could convince her to speak to the group instead of me. That approach didn’t work – she did go with me, but insisted I do the speaking. It had been a long day; we had both worked the morning shift and the afternoon shift, ending at 6:45, then rushed off to our 7:00 appointment. They had asked me to speak for about 15 minutes. It was my first speaking engagement as the Director; I had nothing prepared and truly wondered if I could fill 15 minutes.
There is so much going on at the Center, it ended up being easy to talk about it. I spoke about the history of our 32 years since Sister founded the Center, explained all the services we provide, talked about our volunteers, our donors and our special projects; then I shared a few of my favorite stories from the last month.
A young man came into the Center one day and asked to see me; the front desk told him he was too late, the list of people needing to speak to me about financial assistance was full. (I typically see about 10 people each day.) He insisted he needed to see me and wouldn’t take no for an answer. One of our volunteers came into my office and told me about the young man that was being so persistent and I asked to have him shown into my office. He came in with a big smile on his face; told me he had wanted to stop in the previous week but couldn’t make it. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a keyring with lots of tags on it; he proudly told me he had his one year anniversary in Narcotics Anonymous the previous week. He said “Last time I was here, I was 9 months clean and you told me to let you know when I made it to a year and I did! And I also got my GED!”
Another story I shared was about a special donation we received from a woman that is 102; with the help of one of our Eucharistic ministers, she sent in a sizable check, stating she wanted to pay us back for assistance she had received from Sister several years ago.
When I finished speaking and answering their questions, I realized I had rambled on for about 35 or 40 minutes! (So much for being worried that I couldn’t fill 15 minutes.) The ladies were kind enough to give me flowers and a nice check for the Center and Sister complimented me saying I had really shown the passion I have for the Center. (But don’t worry, I won’t be giving up my day job to go into public speaking!)
Special need of the week – Flatware