Girls' Night In - April Fools

Every once in a while, I hear that the troubles in Michigan are on the way to being fixed, more jobs opening up, fewer foreclosures. But at Grace Centers of Hope tonight, we were surprised with at least 15 more women than usual...and their children. GCH has hired more counselors and has redone an old section of the building into women's residences.  They are filling the rooms at an alarming rate, and told us to expect even more the next time we visit.

 The room was packed tonight, kind of chaotic, very noisy. We met a lot of new residents and they have children living with them there.

 We were a little underprepared because we did not know the numbers were increasing. I don't think everyone got a snack or a drink, but everyone did have a chance to make a craft, play a game, and to visit with at least one of us.

On the nights we are there, we laugh and enjoy the activities together. We get to know the women and look forward to catching up with them. The mood is usually "up."

Once in awhile, we hear a story that breaks our hearts. Stories like that abound, it is the nature of rehab. Tonight, we looked for one of the women we have been visiting with for a year. We looked forward to celebrating with her because her graduation day is April 15. She was not there tonight, and when we asked, we found out that she had left.  They know that she is homeless and living on the riverfront.

Over the year, we watched her start in a state that was close to non-functioning. She grew into a happier person who spoke to us, crafted, and played games. She changed so much. And now, just shy of finishing the program, we are reminded that the pull of whatever landed her in the rescue mission, remains strong.

 Our craft tonight was donated by our friend Carol who is a rubber stamping instructor. She took time to cut papers and cardstock to the perfect sizes and package it all for us. It had to take her some time to do it.

How awesome it is to see artists and crafters share what they do with people who need that exact encouragement. The ladies loved making cards. Some of them were quite creative in adding their own design abilities to the projects. As we sat, I saw some of them write notes inside the cards to loved ones. Carol's contribution is real and appreciated.

How can you use your art skills to encourage someone who needs it? Think about it?

And take your Vitamin C!

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