A SHOUT FOR HELP
Her message was cryptic, landing directly in the founder of Gift Card Giver’s email inbox in all capital letters. When it was forwarded to me, I wondered whether this might be some weird kind of spam. There was a phone number though, and a simple plea for help.
Upon calling and leaving a voicemail message, I wondered whether we’d ever hear back. When my phone buzzed at 1:00 am, I was surprised that it woke me. I don’t bother turning my notifications of work emails off at night because they rarely come outside of business hours let alone at a time where it might wake me, but also the 1 second vibration of my phone is hardly enough to rouse this overtired mother of two. Regardless, on this night the short buzz of my phone did catch my attention and I squinted to see who was emailing me. There they were again, but this time pages and pages of them. Another tired mother, many states away, pouring her heart out to me in all capital letters, (unintentionally) shouting for help.
I learned from her message and from follow-up phone conversations that this mother was desperate for help for her struggling family. Simply put, money was tight. But there was more, she was sick with Chron’s Disease and could not work. Add to that their fourth and youngest child had just entered high school and was troubled, but it was clear he was deeply loved. She called him a gift, adopted at 3 days old from her brother who could not raise him. The burden of raising enough money was all on her husband who was doing the best he could, but it wasn’t enough. She had heard on the TV about a church that was giving away gift cards and when she searched the internet for help from gift cards she found out about us. The email she sent to our founder was the first she’d ever written.
I sent her a list of our inventory and asked her to look through the list and let me know which cards would most help her family. I had overestimated her ability to use the computer. She called back and left me a message, saying she couldn’t open the attachments I had sent and could I please just pick out some cards for them. I got goosebumps when she casually listed a couple businesses that I knew we had cards for and had not been able to use because they were small companies with locations isolated in a few states. It was as if those cards were waiting for their family.
I taped up the package this morning and am happy to know that it will arrive in a few days and bring some hope to this family. You might feel like the cards you have can’t be useful because they are to smaller local grocery store chains, restaurants and gas stations. I know how thankful this family will be that we had cards that will help them put food on the table and gas in the car, and maybe even enjoy a dinner out together.
Keep sending us your cards, we never tire of seeing them matched to needs like this.