I had the honour of volunteering with the Holiday Hunger East Lancashire team over the October 2020 half-term holidays. The main aim was to ensure that no child went hungry during the holidays. We ended up providing 3,000 meals a day. Amazing as that was, it wasn’t the only thing that amazed me.
At the beginning of the half-term week, on a local Facebook page, I asked for volunteer drivers to deliver food. Following my post, a lovely lady messaged me to say she couldn’t physically help, as she is disabled, but if there was anything she could do, she was ready to help.
I thanked her for her willingness and suggested that she could handwrite address labels for the food bags, so that those assigned to deliver knew where to take each meal. She agreed and I contacted Nicola, one of the organisers to arrange to drop off the labels at the lady’s home. The following day Nicola sent her partner David, a high school teacher, to deliver the labels – it was at that point he realised that we hadn’t explained to the lady that we needed to have the labels written that same day.
David reached out to assist the lady. It just so happened that this kind-hearted woman had been one of David’s pupils over 10 years earlier. As they sat together, and hand wrote address labels, they talked of how her life had been since they had last seen each other. Once a very healthy young woman, she developed a curve in her spine as she got older. After seeking medical help and undergoing life-changing surgery that unfortunately went wrong, she was left without feeling in one of her legs. She is now dependent on the use of a wheelchair.
David discovered that she had been waiting for over 12 months for the local Council to provide a ramp for her home. The lack of a ramp meant she had to carry her wheelchair down her two front steps each day, with only one functioning leg. A master at woodwork, David immediately offered his services and started building her a temporary ramp (while a permanent metal one is on order).
Were it not for the many kind volunteers of Holiday Hunger East Lancashire, this woman and David would have never crossed paths that day. A miracle without a doubt.