On a crisp November morning 15 years ago, a group of us got up and went downtown at 6 a.m. to meet some friends and serve a continental breakfast to the homeless. Frankly, I had never been in that part of town before; it was on 9th Avenue and Buchanan under the 7th Ave bridge.
What I saw that morning changed my life forever. I knew there were people who are poor and living in the street. As a Haitian, I have seen poverty but certainly not in the context to which I was exposed that first morning. I was flabbergasted to see people living in such a state, in the State of Arizona right down the street from the Capitol in one of the most influential cities in America!
I came home feeling totally distraught, asking myself why isn't anyone doing something about this atrocity? Why? Why? Why? Then deep down inside, I heard a small soft voice whispering why haven't YOU done anything about it? I remember shedding a few tears over the realization that it only takes one person to make a difference.
As the story will unfold, I never stopped going on Sunday mornings, and through these 10 years, although the location has now changed to 12th Avenue and Madison. I've seen one miracle after another. Lives have been changed, friendships / alliances have been born, an army of volunteers have been galvanized, provisions have been made. Sure, adversities still exist, but through it all, our hands and feet have become the hands and feet of Jesus!
I will encourage you, as you read these words, if you are hearing that small soft voice regarding any area of your life, don't ignore it. Please do what it says. I promise you will never regret it; I did not.
In Love , READY TO SERVE,
Founder and Trustee
The Bridge for Community Services
Haitian-born Christine Ellis is a registered nurse with a mission is to make a difference in the lives of under-served populations. With over twenty five years of elder care experience, she operates Cedar Sanctuary Homes, LLC, realizing that families needed an alternative to the “mass-care” approach. Her passion is community service, receiving many awards for her dedication.
As co-founder of nonprofit The Bridge for Community Services, Christine is proud of the work accomplished in feeding the homeless during the past 15 years. When she believes in a good cause, she is the “Make-It-Happen Lady.”