Patchwork’s neighborhood hospitality is one thing that makes us unique. We are open to the public most mornings, Monday through Thursday. People come inside for coffee, to visit with friends, to connect with resources that they need, to take a shower, or to get a little something to eat. Staff, volunteers, and guests mingle and together build a community.
The amount of traffic through our building has grown exponentially over the last several years. In 2016, the Patchwork staff decided it would be helpful to have volunteers dedicated to overseeing the coffee and fellowship time. Helen Fisher was the first person to respond to this call. Of her experience, she writes:
I started volunteering at Patchwork in November 2016 as a hospitality hostess on Wednesday mornings. I had no idea that I would love what I do for the folks who come to get in out of the cold in the winter or heat in the summer. Most of the visitors are repeat “clients.” I know them by their first names—Big Jim, Robert, Johnny, Eugene, Cheryl, and Lisa. They visit and share stories with each other and with me. It is a very friendly atmosphere.
I am convinced that when John and Amy asked for volunteers and I accepted after the second invitation, I was responding not only to them, but to God. In the book of James, chapter 2, verses 14 to 26, the author deals with the subject of faith and works. As the scripture states, “Faith without works is dead.” I truly believe that the JOY I receive from hostessing is because I am putting my faith in God into practice by serving these men and women who come through our doors here at Patchwork Central.
I will continue to do what I do here at Patchwork Central for as long as God gives me the health and energy to do it. Last month I had a little episode of some memory loss, and my husband was concerned and took me to the hospital. The doctor that I saw in the emergency room admitted me for several tests. The next morning because a friend reported at Patchwork that I was in the hospital, the staff got a card out, and folks who were enjoying their morning wrote notes and signed their names to it. Johnny brought the card, plus a sweet gift of house slippers, and delivered them to me in my hospital room. I was thrilled beyond belief. I couldn’t wait to get back to Patchwork to thank everyone!
How could you not love this special place? Patchwork Central is a beacon of HOPE in our neighborhood as we share hospitality with anyone and everyone who comes through our doors! Thank you, God.
More of Helen’s reflections on hospitality plus additional reflections from our staff, volunteers, and neighbors can be found in Patchwork’s latest newsletter. Printed versions of the newsletter will be arriving in mailboxes soon, but you can get a sneak peek at the electronic version by clicking here.