Reader, please see note at the end.
I want to tell you about how the idea of one woman ignited a community to make a difference in other women’s lives. Just a few years ago, Lori lived in a shelter with her toddler son. Her life seemed dark and lonely. Lori eventually moved into her own place, but she still felt left out. People then came into her life, bringing light to her dark place.
Lori recently reflected on that time of deep loneliness. As she remembered the hurt, God nudged her with “How about having a party for all those people who feel left out?”
She started planning her party. She would invite the lonely women in her Texas community. Even though she didn’t know them, she’d been where they are. Lori named the event “Light the Night.”
Lori contacted the women’s shelters in her community to invite the women there, including the shelter where she’d stayed during her dark period. As she heard about other lonely women, they were invited too.
She soon realized she couldn’t do this by herself. Three Stonecroft groups, including hers, helped as well as other women in the community who heard about Light the Night. They wanted to support women they didn’t even know. All of this was ignited by one women’s passionate fight against loneliness and how a community of friends helped her find light in her darkest times.
The big event arrived, and 90 women showed up! Lori spoke to the crowd about her dark time. Then she explained how faith in God can keep them from feeling alone and depressed. Lori showed how going through a time of darkness doesn’t have to prevent them from being a light to someone else.
The room lights turned off, and the guests switched on mini-flashlights. They observed how the glow expanded as their lights combined to overpower the dark.
That night, the venue was full of smiles, hugs, thank-you’s, and some tears of gratitude. To this day, the guests continue to thank Lori when they see her. She’s been mentoring some of these women, and her Stonecroft group has several activities planned with the shelters.
Stonecroft groups around the country reach out to their communities because of their love for others. These outreaches make a difference in the lives of the women where they are (such as shelters, gyms, favorite shops, or the house next door), and as they are (including the unnoticed, the lonely, and even those who act like all is right with the world, but something is missing in their lives).
In a moment, I’m going to give you an opportunity to give back also. I’d like you to, like Lori, have a chance to honor someone who has helped you. You can shine a light for another woman as you give!
Your gifts can be placed in the envelopes. On the envelope flap, you have the opportunity to make a one-time gift or a monthly donation. Your table host is passing around a larger envelope to receive your envelope.
(Optional) Notecards are on the table to give to that person you are honoring today through your donation. Feel free to write a note letting her know how you honored her.
Thank you for giving back in honor of someone who once gave to you. And, I thank you for giving to women in hard places, so they also find hope and friendship to have strong, beautiful lives.
Reader’s Note: Downloadable cards can be found here for printing and cutting. You will need to be logged in to access these. Please put some on each table. Or, you may use your own notecards if you prefer.