Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Sunday, January 04, 2004


1) God 2) New Clothes 3) Large Moving Truck

Tuesday night, a little late than I prefer, my cell phone rang. I recognized it was a call from SC, but I didn't recognize the number. "Hi Mrs. McKenzie this is Hamilton. I bet you don't remember me but..." I interrupted his greeting "Oh yes, I do remember you and your wife. We met you at Churchbuilders. How is your ministry? What can I do for you?" (Ok, a little rude, but I was very tired and trying to finish cooking dinner.) Well, it turned out to be "What I can do for you" he said "We have just been blessed with 2 storage units filled with new clothing from a store that closed down and we would like to share our blessing and see if you would have a need for clothing in Williamsburg?" I thought for a second because my husband was asleep so I couldn't talk to him about it yet, but everyone could use some clothing, especially new.

"Can you guarantee me some ladies' larger sizes?" I asked. OK so here is where I have to back up 15 minutes prior to his phone call. Earlier I had received a phone call from a secretary at a local church. I had called her that day to see if she knew of any families in need of coffee makers. We had received an overflow that day of new coffeemakers and after I had taken several to people in the weekly motels, I still had several left. Typically the secretary and I don't get much time to talk, but since she was calling so late into the evening, we chatted about God and the scriptures and people's needs for a couple of hours. Before she hung up, she said "I have a need, but hadn't wanted to bother you...most people assume since I work at a church, I make a lot of money and don't need anything. But, since I am a larger size woman, my needs tend to cost more than I can afford. Do you think you could find me a coat and some warm boots? I usually wear jeans to work because I don't have much money left over to buy anything nice to wear and I would like to start dressing more appropriate." This question led to her talking about her life in the past and we found we had a lot in common. She now rents a small bedroom at a person's home and it is basically all she can afford. "What about gloves. If you don't have a coat, do you need gloves as well? I will call around and see what I can do tomorrow. I can get a very nice discount at a coat outlet store so let me see what they have."

Almost as soon as we hung up, that is when Hamilton called. So to me this was a blessing. An answer to a lady's need. "Yes, I have men, women and children clothing in all sizes. I can get you a size 20 in women's." "Yes then, my husband and I can drive his truck down and pick up some clothes this weekend." I told him. Hamilton started laughing. "No Patti. I don't think you understand. We were given about 6000 square feet of clothing. I need to empty one of the storage units, not just put a dent in it. I am talking about a 17' truck of clothing boxed up. Your husband's truck would not hold all that." At this point I couldn't imagine 6000-sq. ft. of clothing, let alone how much a Uhaul of that size could hold. All I knew is that it was a blessing. I told him I needed to talk with my husband and I would call him back.

Wow, God always finds a way to provide. I was excited and overwhelmed. During dinner I told Geoff and we decided we would go Sun. after church. After dinner I looked up on the Internet for the cost of a Uhaul that size. My heart sank. It would be $328 for the truck and then at least a $100 for gas. I had to pray about this. The next morning I did what God tells us to do: "ask and you shall receive." I called the lady at the church that has the need and explained the blessing and dilemma. She asked her pastor and he said "I will give $100 toward the expense." So then I called another church we work with and they gave $100. And another gave $50.

Uh oh. I just thought of another dilemma. What do I do with all those clothes? Yes, we need some for the people we work with, but not THAT much. When you are given a blessing, you should share it with others. So I started calling the local agencies. Salvation Army here doesn't have a clothing closet and FISH is full of clothing they said. So now what? I called the outreach ministries and a few said they would need some. Then I called HomeBase in Newport News area. "Oh we were going to call you. We have somebody who needs help and we can't find anyone to help him." "OK but I need help now as well" and I explained our situation. "Yes we need clothes! We will gladly come get a car or two full. I want to give you $20 to help with the cost!"

So here we are. Today after devotions Geoff and I leave to go to SC to pick up a truck and come home tomorrow. I still haven't found a home for as much as we will be bringing, but I will call the other shelters in Richmond, Hampton, Suffolk and elsewhere to see if we can share the wealth. If we can't find people to help dwindle down the boxes, I will start searching in the surrounding States at shelters. I can't afford to ship them, but if people want to bring a car, they are welcomed to some clothes. If you are in the Greater Va. Penninsula area, work with the homeless and are in need of clothes please email me at helpthehomeless@cox.net


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