Friday, May 15, 2009

In which God is patient with my grumpiness

I have a confession to make - sometimes I don't love serving the poor. Sometimes it's frustrating and boring.
For instance, the least favorite parts of my job are furniture requests. Sometimes we have a client fleeing a bad home situation or moving on from a shelter who desperately needs a bed to sleep on. Hoping to give me more direct interaction with clients, Nicest Boss in the World gives these jobs to me. Unfortunately, finding a free couch or bed is not fun times. Most charities are limited to food pantries and utility assistance. Just last week, one of my reliable referrals was decidedly not nice, telling a client that they were sick of us referring to them.
So today, when I got an email from a nurse about a 17-year old mother of a toddler who is trying to flee a home plagued with drugs and possible sexual abuse, I cringed. I knew Nicest Boss in the World would tell me to help, but I didn't know where to turn. I was out of ideas.

Naturally, I turned to the cubicle next door to whine to Intern #2. "I can help you," she said. It turns out that since she got married, she has a bunch of extra kitchen stuff. Her parents have extra furniture they are about to send to Goodwill.
Then a light bulb went off in my head - Craiglist! That's another place where people get rid of old couches. Sure enough, there are couple people around STL looking to get rid of furniture. Why didn't I think of this sooner?

Again, Divine Providence has patiently heard my griping and turned it into inspiration. I've often quipped that if started a non-profit, it would collect furniture donations. Seriously, why couldn't I? Renting a garage or storage unit would be the hardest start-up cost. I'd probably have to befriend someone with a truck, too. Then I could put ads in church bulletins, respond to Craigslist postings and network with homeless shelters. This time of year would be prime season, since college grads are about to start throwing out futons with wild abandon.

What do you think, 2.5 readers? Would this work?

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