December 15, 2012
This project took place the day after the horrific 'Sandy Hook' shooting disaster in Connecticut. That event was fresh in our minds as we entered into the lives of the Villanueva family to give them hope. It formed a black background from which the simple, loving acts of 20 volunteers on a Saturday morning shone forth like a lighthouse in a storm. On a weekend where the whole country was mournfully asking 'why the hate?', we were wrapped up in blessing a needy family with exuberant acts of love. What an honor it was! -Shawn
Catalyst was contacted by Beaverton School District Youth Services and Eve’s Daughters, a ministry partner of Sunset Presbyterian Church, regarding the needs of Ms. Villanueva and her family. Ms. Villanueva is a single mom of 4 children, ages 4 to 17. She works two minimum-wage jobs, and has been unable to keep up with many of the “comforts of home” expenses that many of us take for granted. The family did not have a working refrigerator, water heater, oven, or clothes dryer in their Beaverton home. In addition to this, they were in need of several furniture items and a few minor household repairs.
Catalyst partnered with several organizations & families to “adopt” the needs of Ms. Villanueva and her children on December 15th. It was a wonderful opportunity to share the love and hope of the Christmas Season with them!
In addition to the donations,
Outside volunteers braved blustery weather to load and remove 5 trailer loads of junk & garbage to the landfill and recycling center (from which we collected almost $200 for the family for scrap metal!)
Inside volunteers did a deep cleaning of living spaces, garage, and a very dirty kitchen to give the family a fresh start
"Thank you for the opportunity to be part of the giving! What a huge project. Everyone there was so nice and worked so hard. After all the terrible events that have been happening lately it was healing to see the good in people and be part of an act of kindness." Cheri, volunteer.
Email from Beaverton School District case worker:
"THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! Wow, your team did amazing work today! I went by tonight and saw the results of everyone's hard work. Everyone was all smiles, and the youngest girl was more talkative and bubbly than I have seen before! The family said they were competing over who would take the first hot shower tonight! The front yard looks great with the clean-up and pruning that was done. The beds and bedding are so nice! The girls are very excited to have a clean and cozy room to sleep in (the oldest had been sleeping in the living room). Mrs. Villanueva said she was very happy to have a stocked, working refrigerator. I was shocked by how the garage is so clean and spacious! Thank you so much for all the cleaning and hauling. This project was a huge positive step for the family! Thank you also for your love and care for them. They are so grateful for your kindness. When I arrived, the kids were enjoying their Christmas gifts and goodies! Please pass this along to all of those who contributed their time, finances, and donations. On behalf of the staff working to support this mom and children, we appreciate everything you have done for them!"