About a month ago we received the ‘Above and Beyond’ Award for our service and commitment to Calvary Women’s Services. We’ve been long standing supporters of Calvary and our semi-annual spa day at the shelter has become a staple. It was indeed an honor to receive the award and we are so grateful for the opportunity to serve. As the lead, my name is listed on the award but it is a team effort- a team of amazing sister-friends who lead this charge with me. Lunch/dinner at the shelter is extra special because we are serving and making a difference together.  I can ALWAYS count on them. I don’t have to remind them to show up because they are already there. If someone can’t make it, they communicate and ensure that their menu items are taken care of for the day. They are reliable, committed, and consistent and I am thankful. So to the amazing women I am blessed to serve with (Denise, Karla, Les, Lucy, My and baby Cam, Ny, Steph, and Sweet T), thank you! To anyone that has ever served with us or supported our Spa Day in anyway- financially, donated goods, or gifted your services, we thank you!

I spoke about this ‘serotonin popping goodness’ a few post ago but I didn’t go into grave detail so here’s my best effort at describing how my serotonin pops when I serve at Calvary. All names have been changed out of respect for the residents and staff of Calvary Women’s Services.

On our designated Sunday, we arrive at Calvary around 11:30am. Lunch doesn’t actually start until about noon but as a team, we arrive early to setup. However, the ‘serotonin popping’ starts well before I arrive at the shelter.

10:00am- While preparing my dish the morning of and watching Pastor B, just in case I don't make it to the 1:30pm service, my thoughts are along the lines of “Oh Maya is gonna love this, she always likes my lasagna!” – Serotonin pop!

11:00am- On my way to the shelter I’m thinking “I can’t wait to hear about Alanna’s first day of class.”, “I hope Ann has pictures of her new grandson.”, or “Omg! This is the week that Cynthia moves into her own place!” – Serotonin pop!!

11:30am- Arrival. We are warmly welcomed by the Calvary staff and they’re always so helpful, holding the door for us or helping us bring items inside as needed. As we walk in, some of the Calvary ladies are returning from church or happen to be at the front desk chatting and that’s when it starts...”Heyyyyy Sharnikya, I have news for you!!!!.” or “Oooh the spa day girls, when is the next spa day?” They're always as excited to see us as we are to see them! – Serotonin pop!!!

11:50am – Lunch time.  A few minutes before noon an announcement is made letting the ladies know that lunch is ready. Moments later, the women start entering the kitchen. We greet them with smiles, hellos, heyyyys, hugs, and screams, yep screams- if it’s been some time since we’ve seen someone and especially if one of the Calvary ladies has a new hairdo!

The ladies are seated and we serve them, they don’t have to lift a finger – they tell us what they’d like on their plates, what they want to drink, and we take care of it. After all of the women are served, we make plates for ourselves and have lunch with them which is my favorite part of the day.

We talk and laugh, talk more and laugh, tears may be shed, and then we talk and laugh some more. Our time with the Calvary residents extends sometimes well beyond the lunch period.  Imagine your favorite girlfriends, on a Sunday afternoon, with great food and amazing desserts…Got the image? Well, that’s us! Except instead of being united with the Calvary ladies by years of friendship, we’re united by hope.  A hope that brighter days are ahead – that our good days outweigh our bad; A hope that tomorrow brings exciting news or a breakthrough- we’re all awaiting a breakthrough in some area of our life; A hope that when we leave Calvary for the day, the women we’ve served are reminded that God still sees and He still cares.  As we leave the ladies we ask “So ladies, what would you like the theme to be for next month’s menu? They respond, typically all at once- offering a variety of suggestions like- “Mexican!”, “Soul food!”, “Chinese!” and then we’re off to prepare for the next opportunity to do it all again. – Serotonin pop!!!!


A few of us with Calvary's Education Coordinator as we received the Above and Beyond award which is for volunteers who have gone above and beyond in their commitment and dedication to Calvary's mission. It reads "In grateful appreciation and recognition for your leadership in group volunteering at Calvary Women's Services.  Thank you for outstanding commitment and dedication to Calvary's mission."

Baby Cam already has a heart to serve. "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

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