Can One Day Make a Difference?

Can One Day Make a Difference?

Kacie Forrest, co-founder of New Life Maternity which supports and empowers refugee women through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, explains how she answered the question: can one day make a difference?

 
Two years ago, I signed up to help as a volunteer for a one-day event called Hands of Hope sponsored by Hope for San Diego. I felt a little cynical about it at first, thinking, what’s the point of “helping” for a day? What’s the impact? Where’s the relationship? The investment? Is it just to feel good about myself and then leave? Was it all going to amount to anything?
I entered that day with a conflicted heart. I was super pregnant and ended up meeting a woman named Zahra, who saw my belly and told me she had just found out she was pregnant too! She was a refugee from Somalia, new to San Diego, and had a special charm about her. We became friends.
One day she came over to my house and I immediately became aware of how much love had been poured out on me from my coworkers, friends, family, and church during my pregnancy. There were gifts everywhere! I could tell much of what I had were things she wanted for her baby too. I had even stockpiled a few things in the garage.

“If we don’t go in the garage,” I thought, “she won’t see how much I have.”
Or…
“If we go in the garage… She can pick out whatever she wants.”
We went in the garage.

That is when the garage shop idea was born.

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Before

We’ve made it full circle! Last month, Hands of Hope brought 16 people for a one-day project and completely outfitted it with a fresh coat of paint, custom shelving, and bins galore! There was A LOT of organizing to be done too. We had friends pitch in to watch the kids and a wonderful Congolese family came and brought homemade East African food for everyone to enjoy. This has changed our space completely and I can’t wait to see what’s next for our little shop and the people it serves. Thank you to everyone who volunteered and thank you Hope for San Diego, your one-day project has meant so much to us!

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After

Kacie and her garage are now welcoming not only individual women, but groups of refugees from resettlement agencies. If you would like to befriend a pregnant woman or donate baby supplies to support New Life Maternity, please contact us at info@hopeforsd.org.