The manager was on the fence as she opened the gift. After thinking about it, she decided that she would not allow the gifts into the club. As she handed back the gift she had opened, the volunteer said “That one is for you”.
On Treasures’ outreaches, there is often a trend that unfolds throughout the night. This outreach, I noticed that there were several seemingly small moments with just one or two women at several clubs. One of the clubs we visited had only a single woman on the floor, because they were between shifts. We left gifts for the women who would arrive later, and gave a gift to the girl who was there. At two clubs, we handed gifts to each girl individually. At the first club, a small group of girls gathered around a volunteer, drawn by her openness.
Toward the end of the night, we approached a club and the manager requested that we leave the gifts with the girl at the front. She lined them up as we passed them to her and said, “the girls will be so happy”.
When we handed her the last one, she was obviously surprised when we said, “This one is yours”.
As a volunteer, it can be easy to leave at the end of a Friday night and think that these moments were not very meaningful because they felt so small. But, there was a girl at the front of a club who didn’t realize that she was included, but got first pick of the gifts. And what about the girls that felt inspired by a Treasures volunteer? Then there is the manager who turned us away, but couldn’t stop the tiny bridge that was formed when she kept the gift that was given just to her. We can be very focused on the group as a whole and wanting to make a tangible difference. But I believe there is a reason that our encounters on Friday were seemingly small, and mostly with one woman at a time. It’s to remind us all that she, even in a tiny and seemingly meaningless moment, is of the utmost significance. Just as she is.
The google definition of “significant” is“sufficiently great”. She is sufficient and she is great.
Her hopes and dreams, her talents and abilities, her thoughts, her heart, and everything else that makes her who she is, are all vitally important. Her fears, regrets, frustrations, hurts, and scars, all matter. Her story matters, her life matters, her soul matters. She matters to us, she matters to those around her, and she matters in this deeply broken world.
We do not need to know where she is in her journey to know that she is significant right now. And while a lip gloss and an awkard moment of eye contact doesn’t fully communicate that, it might just be an okay start.
Article By Catherine Kreamer