Gail has another life – she is a mild mannered church secretary by day. I am a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Williamstown, MA, and the Office Administrator and Assistant to the pastor at the First Congregational Church of Williamstown.
Thursday, September 1 is the 31st anniversary of my move to Williamstown from my native New York City. I have spent the past 24 hours helping Williamstown residents flooded out of their homes by Hurricane Irene find food, lodging, and gasoline. This is the best anniversary gift my adopted home town could give me – the opportunity to give back.
I gave this help because I could – because I am great big noisy Gail Burns and I could pick up the phone and get people’s attention.
If you are a Williamstown resident and want to help, call me at 413-458-4273 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org tomorrow between 9 am-3:30 pm, or come see me at the Church, 906 Main Street (its the big white thing with a steeple on Main Street.)
Bring me gift cards in ANY denomination to ANY major chain store, grocery or pharmacy (Wal-Mart, Rite-Aid, CVS, Price Chopper, Big Y, Stop & Shop, etc.) and I will give them to people in need. If you are a smaller merchant who wants to help, bring me gift certificates to your business.
If you want to help me greet people, listen to their needs, and help me take their contact info while I make calls to connect them with donors and merchants, come on down! If you want to help people with pets from whom they will not be separated, I have help for them and their pets.
If you don’t live in or near Willliamstown, MA, do the same things in your community. Connect with non-profits and faith communities and HELP!! Gift cards and cash cards are a great help, as is the willingness to pay for 1-5 nights at a motel/hotel for displaced people.
My best moment today: Getting the gift of three nights lodging for a macho guy from a gay male couple. I told him that his lodging was a gift from this nice couple who had been married at the Congregational Church a few years ago and he burst into tears. He asked for their address to write them a thank you note.
This is about PEOPLE helping PEOPLE! Do what you can! Make it happen! Offer a benefit performance! Collect gift cards instead of admission one night! Go and perform for people in shelters. Make a difference where you live!
See you on the aisle!
This story by Gail Burns originally appeared at GailSez.