A New Home, a New Way to Serve
Last December, we issued a Giving Tuesday challenge to volunteer for a year with the Home School Foundation and help struggling homeschool families in your area. Several of you responded enthusiastically and signed up to volunteer. One such person was Kimberly Bingham.
Less than three weeks after becoming a community ambassador with HSF, Kimberly was able to brighten another homeschool family’s Christmas. Below is her story.
The to-do list for most homeschooling mothers who recently moved to a new area doesn’t often include joining a charitable organization, but I thought I would try something new. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, my family tries to do as many charitable activities as possible wherever we are located, and this year I felt the need to make a longer, deeper commitment and use more of my time throughout the year to do good. After my response to the Home School Foundation’s “Giving Tuesday” invitation, I was challenged with finding a homeschooling family that could use a little help to meet their holiday expenses. Never mind that I was still living in rooms towered high with boxes—this was a golden opportunity!
I contacted a friend from church whom I had come to know well and who seemed to easily know everyone in this small-town area. Sure enough, she put me in contact with Jennifer, a lively, devoted homeschooling mom who is actively involved in her church and connected with the homeschooling groups and community here.
Jennifer and I enjoyed our chat on the phone, sharing with each other about our families, and she gave me the scoop on the groups and co-ops available. She also told me that she and her family were at the beginning of a lot of transition: they were facing a major job change with a drop in income, a family move, and a lot of uncomfortable uncertainty. I understood exactly how that felt, as my family had just weathered through such a storm. We became instant friends.
I shared with Jennifer how I learned about the Home School Foundation, and also about my experience recently signing up to be a Community Ambassador. I also told her about the task I was hoping to accomplish, asking if she knew any homeschooling families in the area who she thought could use assistance during the holiday season. Of course she was humble and tried to think of others, but I already knew enough about her situation that I intended to try to help her.
A few prayerful days went by with texts, emails, and more conversations with Jennifer and others. Finally, I asked her if she would feel comfortable with me submitting her name for assistance. She agreed, and was so grateful for the extra help at Christmas time; it really lessened the load on her family and made their Christmas brighter.
Jennifer and I still get together and our children enjoy playing with each other. Although she and her family will most likely be moving in the following months, I know that she will always remember the Home School Foundation as a blessing. I look forward to helping this program take root in this area so that more people will have this loving support available to them as they face hard times.
If Kimberly’s story inspires you, take the Giving Tuesday challenge and be a community ambassador with HSF in 2017. It’s not too late to sign up!