Hugs from the Outreach Center

One day, Michele popped in to check out the Outreach Center – our community food bank. She waited in line for some groceries and looked around, reflecting on every face she saw. How did they end up here, she’d think.

Then she thought about her own story. A back injury had put her out of work not too long before. After 20 years in the same job, it was impossible to imagine what would be next for her. She wasn’t even sure how she would pay her bills.

“You know, it’s not doors closing in your face all the time.
These people have arms wide open.”

Water Street Outreach Center Volunteer

The line took longer than expected. Wondering if those waiting needed help, Michele stopped a volunteer and asked. That day fellow volunteers and staff welcomed her into the fold and 11 years later, Michele still volunteers at the Outreach Center once a week.

When she first started, it was more of a matter of practicality for Michele. She could help out and get some groceries at the same time. But since then, she’s discovered God had a deeper purpose for her.
Michele, a hugger, and a people person, can’t help but notice when someone comes in looking down. She knows because she’s been there too. “I know what a sad face looks like because I would carry one,” she says. Every time she sees that face, Michele knows it’s time to offer more than groceries. So she stops them and asks if they need a hug. “My heart was to hug the hearts that hurt.”

Now, the Outreach Center is a big part of her life, and she is a big part of the Outreach Center! She wants to spread hope to others, saying, “You know, it’s not doors closing in your face all the time. These people have arms wide open.”

By supporting Water Street Mission, you’re helping care for Lancaster neighbors who fall on hard times….and helping them reach out to bring healing to those in need! Thank you!