After Yezi Williams left her full-time job to prioritize her family, she wanted a way to serve her own community. She took the initiative and organized her neighbors to make it happen.
“For so many years, my job kept me in Tamarac,” Yezi explained. “I didn’t get to do a whole lot locally unless it was a weekend with my family.”
“It was nice to be freed up and serving, just because,” she said.
Yezi knew about Heart2Heart from her job as outreach director at Christian Community Church. Heart2Heart had organized outreach opportunities to seniors in care centers during the pandemic and beyond.
Heart2Heart staff was happy to help her connect to other opportunities in her own backyard.
Based on Heart2Heart’s recommendations, Yezi purchased the goodies and declared Dec. 9 a family serve day. She let her neighbors know about the opportunity. She connected with the church near her neighborhood, First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, for a meeting place to stuff the bags.
Last Saturday, about 8 adults and a handful of kids gathered in the church courtyard to put the bags together. Aside from Yezi’s own family, folks come from her neighborhood and from First Presbyterian Church.
“It was a cool connection because many of the folks from the church across the street have ended up in that center,” Yezi said. “So they knew people in Presidential Place, where we delivered the bags.”
The bags included candies, scratch note pads, crossword puzzles, lotion, fuzzy socks and bracelets that said “Jesus loves you.” The group also wrote notes on Christmas cards to deliver with the bags.
After they were done stuffing the bags, the group delivered them to the care center, the same day. They made enough bags for each of the 50 residents.
“They loved their little gifts,” Yezi said. “It’s starting to catch like wildfire. The church wants to do it again for Easter.”
Now that she’s organized one event, Yezi thinks the group can triple the amount of bags next time. She also was encouraged to hear that the church is discussing picking up seniors so they can attend their outdoor Christmas caroling event.
Yezi said she was pleased with how the outreach turned out and how easy it was to work with Heart2Heart.
“Hopefully, this encourages people to do the same and use Heart2Heart to make those connections,” she said.
To organize your own grassroots community outreach, call the Heart2Heart office at 954-315-2218.