My tennis buddy and friend Beth Allison decided to organize a house -warming shower among the Cookeville ladies tennis community to help furnish the Next Step house kitchen and complete the resident’s rooms. And wow! Did they ever! She brought in (pictured left to right in the picture above) Linda Carlen, Lucretia Maxwell, Beth, Me (Diane Roland), Barbara Gaby and, not pictured, Kelly Little to help host a most amazing event.
Amazing because we received almost all of the items off the list but also enough gift certificates and cash to purchase what we need to prepare the house for opening. And it was amazing because of the support and love for these young women that was clearly evident. First, several of the ladies took volunteer applications so they can become more involved with the residents. Second, two ladies returned to the house a couple of days that week and spent many hours washing and organizing all the dishes, towels and bedding.
And third, from attendees at the shower, they made other groups they are involved in available for us to connect with whom we can call when the girls move in to furnish some of their personal needs. One of my tennis friends organized the ladies from a relief society of which she is a member and brought us household start-up supplies and food, games for the house and eight, personal welcome bags for each girl.
We are now 2-3 weeks from moving the first residents into the house. God is pouring out His love for them already through so many people. We are witnessing how His love conquers all, and He uses the body of Christ to do it! God is the one who sets us free. I’m so glad He lets His people be part of the process of extending His grace.
I cannot thank my friends enough for embracing this mission in ways I only had a vision of. I’m still receiving calls from ladies who could not attend the shower but still want to help the residents; we are blessed and so thankful.