The Sound Of Hope
Volunteers, a bus, soup and conversation: the recipe for change in DFW
Tomorrow night might get below freezing. You look around your tent and hope you have enough layers to stay not just warm but alive.
Your stomach rumbles. You hear the steady flow of traffic above, the other people, going to and from work. The people with roofs over their heads; they know when their next meal and shower will be.
Then you hear it. A silly horn that doesn’t just mean a hot cup of soup. It means hope.
Homeless but not hopeless
In America, there are approximately 650,000 homeless individuals. (Metro Relief, 2017) Many of them children. And the Dallas-Fort Worth area is no different.
Just ask Jana Kelley, who was homeless at age 13. Jana has experienced more horrors in her short life – from drug dealing to her father being shot - than most people will in 80 years
But she heard that silly horn one day. Around the corner the Metro Relief bus came. The volunteers poured out of the doors of the retrofitted bus, many of them got in line for soup with the homeless and struck up conversations. Jana decided to sit down and talk with a volunteer, a chat that changed the course of her life.
“We really believe that in order to help someone actually make an impact in their lives, you’ve got to start with the core problems,” shared Metro Relief Executive Director, Jason Kelley. “A lot of people do not have encouragement and good people around them. So we try to be that for them. We try to show them love right off the bat even if they’ve only known us for five minutes. We are family and we care about you.”
Metro Relief provides more than just much needed meals. They provide sanitary items like tooth brushes and soap; encouragement and friendship; and help people get life-changing medical services.
Jana used to think her life at 13 was normal. But through conversations and love and support from Metro relief volunteers, she realized she deserved better. The young woman has turned her life around. She’s attending college and plans to be a social worker so she can help other children in her situation.
Spreading the relief even farther
Metro Relief wanted to reach even more people in the metro area. But like many non-profits, they needed more money.
“It’s not every day that a group of people say we’ve got $25,000 and want to give it to you so you can make a difference in people’s lives. And that’s what happened through State Farm®,” Jason said.
In 2016, they heard about a crowdsourced grant program that connects individuals and communities with local non-profits to build safer, stronger, and smarter communities, State Farm Neighborhood Assist ® (SFNA).
And they won one of those 40 grants. “The grant money will help us retrofit a second bus, essentially making it a food truck. We will be able to reach so many more people now,” shared Jason.
Together, Metro Relief volunteers and State Farm are giving Dallas-Fort Worth homeless a better chance at a brighter tomorrow. They are turning the power of caring into the act of doing with the help of SFNA.
Check out the SFNA website to find community causes you’re passionate about. From August 16 through the 25, you get ten votes a day to rally behind those causes. Go vote!
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