“ If, when contemplating your life purpose, you find words and concepts coming to mind such as service, sharing, compassion, loving, empathy, or kindness, you probably will not be truly satisfied until a goodly portion of your life is involved in giving and serving."
- John-Roger, D.S.S. from Serving and Giving: Gateways to Higher Consciousness
Giving and Serving Through HeartFelt
by Romo Gonzales
Two and a half years ago my decision to move to Austin, Texas was largely based on the strong MSIA community in the Austin area. When the opportunity to serve as the HeartFelt rep for the area was presented, it was very easy for me to accept, as I knew the community here would be supportive in all efforts and events. This past August, HeartFelt participated with two local organizations to help with much needed services and donations in the community: SafePlace women's shelter and ARCH (Austin Resource Center for the Homeless).
As the population in the Austin area increases at a very fast pace, unfortunately so does the homeless population. I've noted that at almost every major intersection in the city, there is a homeless individual or group asking for money. Some of their signs are creative, like "$0.50 for GOOD KARMA," and the times I have felt compelled to donate I couldn't help but wonder what that donation would be spent on. South/ Central Texas is known for it's long HOT summers, and I began to wonder if many of the individuals I see on a regular basis were getting sufficient hydration. As the air temperature highs passed the century mark for days and weeks in August, HeartFelt teamed up with ARCH to collect and distribute bottled water to these individuals. ARCH also has refill stations at various locations, so individuals are encouraged to keep the bottles and visit these locations. However, many of these individuals do not live near the center or the refill stations, so I also dedicated a day to driving to areas throughout the city that are distant from the center but where many of these individuals live. I was able to take the water to them and talk to them about services available. With the help of the MSIA Ministers and community, HeartFelt was able to make a generous donation that was greatly appreciated!
Another area of HeartFelt service in Austin is SafePlace. SafePlace's mission statement "is ending sexual and domestic violence through safety, healing, prevention and social change." Every summer SafePlace has a back-to-school drive, collecting school supplies for children in need. With generous donations from the MSIA community, HeartFelt participated in collecting hundreds of dollars worth of school supplies for SafePlace in August, just in time for the start of school! Minister Hesperia Blackburn was very active in this, and she and I ended up doing a second and then a third donation of other items like women's clothing, kitchen appliances, etc. YAY!!
Thank you for the beautiful sharing, Romo.
God bless you Austin HeartFelt.
Sent with much Love and Light,
Skyler Maryl Patton HeartFelt Director and Paul Kaye HeartFelt President
Please feel free to email feedback or your stories of service you'd like featured in an upcoming HGN article to firstname.lastname@example.org