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Water Heaters, Forty Bucks and a Mary Kay Makeover

The first text didn’t surprise me that much, in fact it was pretty straight forward. “One of the water heaters at the shelter just died – I mean completely died,” it read. I stared at my phone thinking, that’s not too bad, we have two big ones over there but we also have 17 residents. While I was contemplating what the effect of this reduction in hot water would mean I got a second text. “Mike (our maintenance man) thinks the other water heater is on its last leg too, but for now at least we still have hot water, even if it’s in limited supply.

Christi Durant, our community resource manager, is in her car and on the phone trying to run down a replacement for the first defunct appliance when we find out the surviving unit has also died. About two hours later, the Shelter Manager lets us know the shelter is now at capacity with 27 residents and 17 of those are children . . . and not one drop of hot water to wash little hands, take a shower or wash dishes. Do you have any idea how many dishes it takes to feed 27 people? A bunch!

That’s when you stepped in. You, our beautifully spirited, caring community stepped up. Local restaurants like Dominos Pizza and Cotton Patch provided meals, the YMCA and Plantation Inn provided hot showers and a score of special volunteers coordinated the delicate logistics of transporting women and children to get hot showers at all hours of the day and evening. Meanwhile, Home Depot, Faye Lane Plumbing and our diligent Community Resource Manager spent countless hours finding the special size units that are currently in route from New York state. Others have donated mountains of paper plates and plastic ware, juice and snacks. The residents have been gracious, patient and incredibly grateful, as are we.

The water heater saga was in full swing when the Resale shop manager stopped in to tell me about a special moment in the store. While she was helping a couple find clothes to wear to job interviews, they shared with her how difficult it was to get out of their current predicament.

They were living in a motel, working part time and hoping to find full time employment soon. It took every penny they earned to pay for gas, groceries, and room cost - with no real end in sight. As the manager left to return to the register, another customer quietly handed her an envelope. “This is all I have with me. Please give it that couple after I leave? It sounds like they could really use it.” Inside the envelope was forty dollars in cash. The couple was overwhelmed with the generosity of a stranger and so were we. It was a simple act of kindness. Forty dollars that changed everything for the couple, the giver and for us as humbled bystanders.

We made it through the hot water crisis and witnessed a beautiful gift of kindness in the weeks before Mother’s Day. On the Friday before Mother’s Day, Sheri Lozipone, a local Mary Kay Beauty Consultant will bring her friends and give each of the residents at the Shelter a makeover. Now just imagine - you’ve been through hell and survived and you’re looking your future straight in the face. How extraordinary to see your beautiful self staring back at you for the first time in years. That’s a gift that changes everything.

They’re all gifts that change everything – but that’s you, Granbury. That’s what you do best. |817-579-6866

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