Thank you, LL, for your support of Blessings Under the Bridge
Splash Guest Column
I wish I could say thank you to every single person who donated personally to the recently completed 12 Dollars of Christmas Drive, so I would like to write a sincere thank you on behalf of myself and Blessings Under the Bridge.
As a resident of Liberty Lake since 2006, I never knew I would be so proud to live in the community I reside in. I had the privilege of serving many of my neighbors here in Liberty Lake while I was a server at Hay Js Bistro back in 2006. Never did I know that a year later, in 2007, I would also be serving the homeless. God has brought me on quite a journey over the past five years, learning - as we all have - how timing is the key.
Thanks to a conference I spoke at in November, I had the honor of meeting Josh Johnson and his beautiful wife, Kim. I will never quite know the words I said that Josh`s ears heard, but it led his heart to use his gift, The Splash. When he called to express his desire to somehow bridge the gap between The Splash and Blessings Under the Bridge, I must admit I was overwhelmed with so much joy that he believed in the heart of serving and helping those in need. But, most of all, he believed in what God had put on both of our hearts: bringing hope and loving others. He came up with an idea that really got my bubbles going - God had paved a way for my neighbors to get involved as well. That got me so excited!
As you know, every week Blessings Under the Bridge distributes food through the Blessed Brown Bag, a gourmet brown-bagged meal. We also distribute drinks, toiletries, shoes, clothing, blankets, etc., each week to the homeless in the city of Spokane.
With the 12 Dollars of Christmas Drive and weekly Splash articles, I was able to watch how much the Liberty Lake community felt led to embrace those less fortunate by giving up their Starbucks or maybe a night out in donating at least $12. At the end of the month, I was in awe of the miniature brown bags printed in the paper that represented more than 1,400 Blessed Brown Bags that Blessings Under the Bridge can now serve. WOW!
In my interactions with many Liberty Lake residents and businesses, I have seen fresh examples of how many who are giving are doing so not just as a "good deed" but out of a mindset of giving to others as a way of life. As a recent example, Brooke Baker, who is a board member of BUTB, was able to bridge the gap between the homeless and John L. Scott here in Liberty Lake. Every John L. Scott employee is now donating a minimum of $12 each month, and they are keeping an ongoing clothing barrel in the office for donations. I am so excited to see Kari Jo and JoAnn Zyph really get involved from their hearts.
Also thanks to Steve Allen, Stephanie Anderson and Pastor Dave Butler of Liberty Lake Community Church (who I served soup and crackers to in my serving days at HayJ`s) also jump in this year with the church body wanting to be involved on an ongoing basis. Their open hearts have led to a relationship with Food Services of America and Sysco Foods, who have already donated so much in such a short time (for example, more than 5,000 bags of chips from Sysco).
And of course, Barry and Sheri Baker, owners of Baker Construction, who have been donating honey buckets for our events every year since day one. They serve at these events as well. This is all so amazing to watch those who give with a cheerful heart, not a hesitant one.
My hope is that as we all start the new year seeing things differently, we can do what gives us that genuine cheerful attitude and live our lives more for others then ourselves, no matter what the situation is. Together, Liberty Lake can make a bigger difference in helping those who don't have all those little things you and I take for granted sometimes, such as fresh food and a warm blanket. I never knew that being willing would lead me to a 501c3. But if it means bridging the gap, even in just Liberty Lake, it's all so worth it. And if we were all willing to give and love more, imagine how much hope we could bring.
A special thanks to God and to everyone from Blessings Under the Bridge who donated items, clothing, money and time to the fifth annual winter event in December. Together, we witnessed 1,000 people serving and being served under the bridge as well as shelled out almost 10,000 pounds of food and clothing.
Thank you to the local businesses who have been part of this effort, including Starbucks, Simonds Dental Group, Albertsons, HayJ`s Bistro, Otis Grill, Cheapsk8n Couponing, Baker Construction, Lakeside Church, Liberty Lake Community Church and John L Scott. But most of all an overwhelming thanks to Josh Johnson for his heart and Kelly Moore and staff with The Splash for everything you did. WOW!
Jessica Kovac and her husband, Mike, are Liberty Lake residents and founders of Blessings Under the Bridge. To become more involved with the organization, volunteer or donate, visit butb.net, call 869-6584 or find the organization on Facebook.