It’s the time of year to slow down, to reflect, to visit with friends and family, and to enjoy the things we love. At Patchwork, our building will be quiet for the next week and a half so that our staff and volunteers can do just that.
This is also the time of year for extra gifts and for warm gratitude for those gifts.
This past Wednesday, we celebrated our Patchwork Family with a special breakfast provided by some of our volunteers. A good group gathered for mini breakfast casseroles, pancakes, bacon, and coffee. The tables were dressed up with tablecloths, and everyone gathered around them, regulars and newcomers alike. People chatted with one another in the warm space. Some picked up food orders. Some took showers. No one left hungry. No one felt alone. Many left us with a word of thanks and a hug. It was a very Patchwork morning.
And this week’s good gifts didn’t stop there. We also received:
- Funding to allow us to purchase pet food for our food pantry in 2019
- Another donation of great coffee from Tim at the Evansville Coffee Company (We’ve been brewing 8-10 pots per day!)
- Presents for Arts & Smarts program participants from our friends at Aldersgate United Methodist Church
- The news of an apartment for our friend Clay, one of our morning regulars, who moved into the Garvin Loft Apartments this week
- A contribution from the USI Empty Bowls event that took place in Haynie’s Corner in November
- A large shipment of socks from Bombas that we will distribute to our guests who need them
- Many financial contributions in all amounts, well wishes, and prayers from supporters who value the role that Patchwork plays in our neighborhood
We are so very grateful for all this and more.
And to add to the time of reflection, here is all we accomplished last year:
- Our food pantry served 2,374 individuals from 1,398 households and distributed almost 27 tons of food which would make up approximately 37,000 meals. It also distributed 795 pounds of pet food .
- Ninety-four children and youth in grades 1–8 attended at least one day of Arts & Smarts activities. A total of 126 days of activities were offered, equaling 1,839 individual afternoons of creativity, learning, and growth within a caring community of adults.
- We logged approximately 8,400 instances of hospitality (cups of coffee, phone usage, clothing, referrals to other agencies, etc.). This included 890 showers for individuals who did not have other access to shower facilities. We brewed approximately 1,300 pots of coffee for our guests.
- Our Bike Shop distributed 105 refurbished bicycles to people who relied on them for transportation and did numerous repairs to keep bikes roadworthy for their owners.
- Our Sozo Health Ministry provided 605 health encounters for 265 clients. These included weekly health screenings, education, advocacy, non-emergency transportation, and spiritual care.
- Several other community organizations were able to use our space for meetings and to provide community services.
- Our gardens provided attractive green space in our neighborhood.
- Many different people came together to find respect, safety, and support.