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Thursday, April 19

Guest Feature: Laura {Our Reflection}

My name is Laura and I'm the one behind Our Reflection. I'm a full-time working mother of two beautiful daughters: Rachel who is 14 and Charlie who's 6. I've been married to Chaz for over 10 years and he's the most amazing encouraging man in the world. When I'm not at my 8-5 or being "mommy", I'm a lifestyle photographer based in Monterey, California. I have a weakness for Starbucks and love the color yellow.

For a few months now I feel God has put something in my heart to somehow giveback to the community, but I was never sure just what. I prayed about it a lot. A few weeks ago I was sitting in church reading the bulletin and something just jumped out to me. A Heart for the Hungry. Our church's food pantry was empty. The pantry that used to feed hundreds of families, now, there’s a sign on the door that says “Sorry, there are no food bags available at this time.”

That was it! That’s what my heart wanted to do. Fill those pantry shelves until they’re overflowing! Could I do this alone? No. I needed help. I had this idea of having a table set up in front of a local grocery stores collecting non-perishable food donations, a Food Drive. But I wanted to do more . My idea grew to wanting a table set up in front of every single grocery store in the area, all at the same time. Crazy? I thought so at first. Man, did I pray about it again and again. Slowly, things started to fall into place. Once I started looking for volunteers, they started pouring out of the wood work. Even random strangers that heard of the event asked if they could help out. We ended up with over 25 people helping this little BIG dream come to reality.

My vision came to life. This was my weekend.

{and this isn't everyone!}
We decorated the food donation barrels {10 of them which were donated with a value of $50 each!}, rented the U-Haul truck, gathered our amazing volunteers and headed out!

The day called for rain. We didn't get sprinkled on, it was an all out downpour. As soon as each table was set up, the sky's flood gates opened and I hadn't seen rain like that in ages. Everyone was soaked. But was that going to stop us? No way. We were determined! And it didn't stop people from giving. We had a few people even wheel out a cart full of groceries and just leave it next to our bins. The entire cart fulls were for the Food Drive! I didn't know what to say. Thank you just didn't seem like enough but was all I could say. It made me really emotional. People have such good hearts. The world has put such a dark cloud over humanity, but it's not true. Most people want to give out of the goodness of their hearts. They want to help others. And it showed this very day.

We ended the day with each of our barrels filled to the brim and food bags all around each table. The church's food pantry was so packed the door wouldn't close. This was all God's doing. It started as a thought God had placed on my heart, ended up feeding dozens {even hundreds maybe} of low-income families.

This was such a eye opening experience I just can't wait to do it again. I encourage each and everyone of you to find a way to give back to the community. There's so much out there that needs help and it takes so little to made a huge impact on someones life.

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

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Thank you so much for your lovely comments! I don't always have time to respond to each one, but I do read them! XO