“When going through a financial hardship, you lose your voice and lose the ability to be seen. Hand2Hand says, ‘We see you…you’re valuable…we love you.’”
There is something special about fall and intentionally soaking up the weather, beautiful trees, cooler air, fresh apples, and pumpkins, isn’t there? We know that winter will appear before we know it – when the sun is hidden, gray skies appear, and colder temperatures arrive with blowing snow or freezing rain. I crave sunshine and warmth in the winter months, and whenever the sun shines in the winter, it is a good day. I also love to purchase fresh flowers during the winter. The bright colors of flowers bring me joy during the colorless months of winter.
The reality is, many of our students and their families experience ‘winter’ twelve months out of the year, sometimes year after year. Hand2Hand seeks to be sunshine and warmth to our students as we faithfully pray for them and deliver a weekend bag of food packed with love.
Recently we were blessed to hear from one of our former Hand2Hand families and what the winter season of financial struggles was like for them. Jeff and Michelle own and operate Stems Market, a fun and vibrant fresh flower store. I have always loved their store because when I walk in, I immediately feel happy. I’ve always noticed their tip jar on the counter of their store, designated for Hand2Hand, but it wasn’t until recently that I learned why the owners are passionate about supporting us.
We filmed their story on a Monday morning, and when we arrived, Jeff and Michelle shared about their difficult weekend and that they almost had to cancel the video shoot. They had 22 weddings that weekend, and because there was a shortage of floral glue, they had to go to each wedding and help make the arrangements work differently. They drove to work on Monday morning and realized someone had also slashed their tires on their Stems van. They still wanted to share their story because, in their words, ‘the devil was not going to steal their testimony.’
Their winter lasted for years, and four of those years, they couldn’t even afford heat. I was so blessed to meet Jeff and Michelle, and I had chills listening to them share their story because when I began Hand2Hand, I had a deep heaviness for families that I can’t explain, but now I know why. God’s love is so deep for all of us, and He desired Hand2Hand to be born so that we could display His love and care in a tangible way to families like Jeff and Michelle’s family.
Today their mission is to ‘Spread Kingdom Joy’ – which explains why I am so happy every time I walk into their store. 🙂 Thank you, Jeff and Michelle, for sharing your winter journey with us and for being used powerfully today as you spread joy through flowers, prayers, and love to your employees, customers, and community!
The heartbeat of Hand2hand is to continue to spread Kingdom Joy to all of our students and families, as well, so that they recognize God sees them, knows them, and loves them through a simple bag of weekend food packed with love and prayers.
A special thank you to Jeff and Michelle for recently donating all of the beautiful centerpieces for our Hope for Kids Dinner.