Dear Friends and Supporters,
As we count our blessings this year, Grace at the Green Light is thankful for each of you. Going on seven years, with your help, we will serve our 200,000th meal in late December. We have distributed over 1 million bottles of water and have assisted 2,400 people getting home.
The year of 2020 has been a particularly tough with many challenges to overcome. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, all other meal serving homeless organizations in the New Orleans area were forced to shut down. In response, Grace extended our “Meals with Love” program from exclusively providing breakfast to providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily to our homeless community. Because of this, we were able to increase our daily served from an average of 75 meals per day to over 725 meals per day!
Here are two stories that highlight our recent work. We first met “Tiny” when we were at our temporary location during the COVID-19 stay at home orders. Tiny is a big guy who carries his life’s belongings bundled in a bedsheet on his back. As the weeks went by, we began building a special relationship with Tiny. Not only did we provide him with the basic necessity of food and water, we were also able to learn about the struggles and hardships he faced with bullying, trauma, and mental illness. Above all, we learned how to be his friend. Since we first provided Tiny with our services, we are proud to say he has not skipped a day. We are so grateful that through this pandemic, we have been able to overcome barriers which allowed us to offer assistance, expand our services, and ultimately serve a greater portion of the homeless community.
The second story we want to share is of Neil. Neil traveled from his hometown of Texas to Lake Charles, Louisiana for work to provide relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura. Unfortunately, Neil suffered a schizophrenic episode while in Lake Charles and was hospitalized. Once stable, he was released from the hospital and dropped off in front of a homeless shelter in New Orleans. When we first met Neil, he was helpless, scared, and stranded in a strange new city. Neil came to us desperate to get home to his family in Texas. After contacting Neil’s mother to make sure he had a safe place to go to, we purchased a bus ticket and provided Neil with enough food and water for his trip home. Neil has now been reunited with his mother where he is safe and sound today.
We are the only agency in the Greater New Orleans region that offers this type of assistance to the homeless or to those who are stranded with no means to get home. Because of your love and support, we are able to give people a chance and reunite families.
This holiday season, will you make a donation to support our program? Will you help fill the gap in homeless services? In celebration of our milestone 200,000th meal served, please consider helping us celebrate by donating $200, $2,000, or $20,000. We thank you for your consideration and appreciate your love and support.
Peace and Love,
Sarah Parks Chris Beary
Executive Director Founder