My office was the size of a closet. I was part of a ragtag group of 20-something idealist who were starting an inner-city ministry in Camden, New Jersey. The old storage room at the back of Rosedale Baptist Church had been cleared and given to us as our home base. Two desks lined one wall and a few file cabinets the other. We had just enough room to sit down to answer the phone or type a letter.
Above my desk was a cork board for reminders, newsletters, local phone numbers and such. We also filled that board with inspirational quotes. It was common for someone to offer words from Mother Teresa, the Roman Catholic nun and missionary to Calcutta, India. One became a favorite of mine, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
I think of those words when I volunteer my time or give a donation to a worthy cause. I think of it when I consider the partner agencies of the Montgomery County United Fund. I think of it when I hear stories like Olivia’s.
A few years ago, Olivia lost her mother to cancer and is now being raised by her grandmother, Deborah. Olivia is a bright, creative and funny 10-year-old. She loves school, art and kittens. Reading books about animals or using recyclables to create masterpieces are a favorite way to spend her time.
Deborah needed a place for Olivia to go after school. She wanted her granddaughter to be safe, have fun and get the additional support and guidance needed from other caring adults. So every day after school, Olivia comes to the Boys & Girls Club of Montgomery County. At the club, she gets to play with her friends, eat a healthy snack, draw, get help with homework and engage in many fun activities.
Then a new challenge faced the pair when Olivia was diagnosed with Type 1 or juvenile diabetes. She was struggling with school and anxiety as well as with low self-esteem. The club and staff quickly stepped up and became a support system for both Deborah and Olivia.
With gratitude, Deborah said, “The club changed our lives forever. Olivia is happy, succeeding in school, and having experiences she never could have before.”
A few hours after school. A few crafts. A few games. A few apple slices for snack. Just a drop. A small donation. A bi-weekly payroll deduction. An end-of-year contribution. Just a drop. Your contributions to the Montgomery County United Fund and our partner agencies, like the Boys & Girls Club, may be just a drop. But Olivia’s life, her ocean, would not be same.
Donations can be mailed to MCUF, P.O. Box 247, Crawfordsville, IN 47933 or through PayPal on our website at montgomeryunitedfund.org. Payroll deductions can be arranged through your company’s human resource department.