CIMG0895By Deborah Jacobi, Associate Director |

Not surprisingly, the drizzle on our first Monday night during Holiday Lights wasn’t a big draw.  I trust our 29 cars enjoyed being able to take their time enjoying the Lights.  It was a slow night with a surprise.

The Bodensteiner crews of volunteers were in good spirits – plenty of coverage to help Santa and not leave anyone alone on a job.  Around shift change, Chris R showed up with three Mabe’s pizzas and a cooler of soda.  They may also have been going out together afterwards, so they really made volunteering into a group event.

As the volunteers were driving out the gate and I was about to turn off the lights, a woman on foot approached me, asking me to read something.  I wasn’t sure what this might be about as we stepped under a light.  She had a greeting card with her message of thanks to Helping Services and a donation.  She told me, “Helping Services saved my life.”

As was also written in the card, she shared that she had been a victim of brutal crimes and, from the sounds of it, of the system, too.  Her lawyer connected her with an advocate from Helping Services.  The last part of her note says:

“The concrete, immediate services – helping me relocate, get medical care, etc.– I am convinced, saved my life.  This is not dramatics but reality.  I am now growing, healing, and joyful (with support) rebuilding my life.  This is a meager donation but – well – I am grateful.  Peace and Blessings.”

When she told me that she couldn’t possibly thank Helping Services enough, my reply was that she had by sharing her story with me and by being her resilient self.

With deep admiration for all that the staff and agency do for others,


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