18 Nov A Personal Story of Love and Commitment
I have had the joy and privilege of coordinating a group of generous and dedicated City of Bellevue staff to provide lunch for The Sophia’s Way women’s shelter every month for the past 10 years! This group of compassionate individuals juggle very busy schedules while at the same time choosing to reach out to their community with help and hope. I cannot say enough about their faithful response to my many requests for help, from the umbrella drive in the fall to the ‘fill the purse’ requests during the holidays. Every time I ask, they have responded with open hands and big hearts.
I have a deeply personal reason for taking up this volunteer work. My mother, who suffered from acute mental illness while she was alive, was homeless for a season; not by choice or with our family’s knowledge. Upon demanding to be released from the hospital, she suffered an extreme bout of low blood sugar from her type 2 diabetes and ended up in a coma on the street. Upon waking she wandered off. It was weeks before we found her and were able to tend to her. The fear and anxiety that gripped our family while she was missing was difficult to cope with. Due to outreach efforts in the city, not only did we find her but learned that she had been cared for by an agency much like The Sophia Way.
I also learned that homelessness is not reserved for the poor or unwanted. Those who are homeless are someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, daughter or son. It is my conviction that we have a responsibility to care for our neighbor. Coordinating the monthly lunch for The Sophia Way is my way of doing so while at the same time honoring my mother’s memory.
I often say that you can tell a lot about a community if you look at how they treat the most vulnerable in their midst. I am happy to say that staff at the City of Bellevue respond to them with love and grace.
– Babette Bechtold