“It is good to . . . sing praises to Your name . . . To declare Your Loving-kindness in the morning. . ." Psalms 92:1-2
A few days ago, I went to CVS to pick up a few items. After I shopped, proceeded to the register when I noticed the cashier looking at me. When I finally stood in front of her, she asked sheepishly, “Do you remember me?” She then removed her mask and continued. “It’s been a long time, more than 20 years ago.” I looked at the sweet smile on this young lady’s face and realized there was something familiar about her, but I could not place it. She seemed to have noticed my embarrassment and said, “I think I was in one of your school groups you ran at Ventura High School with Mrs. Meyers. Your daughter was probably two or three years old. How is she doing?”
“Chelsea is married and lives a few blocks from here” I responded. It was her next statement that astonished me, “I think you and Mrs. Meyers saved my life. I was struggling in school, hanging around a gang and not feeling very good about myself. You told us in group that we were valuable just because.” “Just because?” I asked. “Exactly, you said, just because.” “Because what?” I asked her. “Let me remind you of the rest of what you said, it goes something like this,” she replied. “You girls are valuable; you don’t need to do anything, or be anyone, or have anything to be valuable. You are valuable – just because. Those words have stuck with me even when I left school early because I was pregnant, even though I got a GED rather than a diploma. I figured it out when my little girl was born, I love her just because. I think you were talking about God loving me. You know, I am back in school and studying psychology, a little late – but, I knew I could do it – just because.”
I left that drugstore with a gift, a gift from a once struggling teenager who realized that she was valuable, “just because.” That in a nutshell is what City Impact’s mission and goal is – to tell children, youth and families that God loves them, honors them and embraces them. Not because they are worthy. No, just because. Thank you for continuing to support the work of City Impact it does make a difference.
Because of Him,
Betty Alvarez Ham
P.S. You can support us when you shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/77-0388915 and Amazon donates to City Impact.