Luckily for Interfaith Works and those we serve, there are people who see a need and will not rest until they respond to it.
That was the case of Lyttonsville resident Patricia Tyson. Pat lives down the street from the overflow shelter that IW manages at the Gwendolyn E. Coffield Community Center. The site was established to provide safe shelter and adequate social distancing for more than 50 women during the pandemic. For now, they have been sleeping on cots with the intention of moving residents to more permanent shelter. The Coffield site was meant to be a short-term solution, but it became long-term as the pandemic extended over many months.
Wanting to be a good neighbor, Pat reached out to us to explore what the women’s needs might be so she could do something about it. After some email exchanges, Pat focused on the fact the residents were sleeping on cots.
“God planted the seed making me wonder how I would feel sleeping on a cot for such a long, long period as a woman and I couldn’t get over that thought or feeling,” she told us. Pat decided donating new mattress pads might improve the comfort of residents.
Hoping to provide new pads for all 65 cots at the facility, Pat connected with Lisa Raisner with the Social Justice Advocacy Committee of St. John’s Episcopal Church (Norwood Parish). The committee was very willing to provide financial support to help purchase all of the pads needed for every cot at Coffield.
Pat said the St. John’s committee “began to water the seed, and out of nowhere this gigantic crop has grown for reaping.” These pads will improve the rest and overall quality of life for our residents. We are deeply grateful to Pat for her commitment and thoughtfulness, and to the St. John’s Episcopal community for providing resources to complete the project.
Now that the residents have more comfortable sleeping accommodations at Coffield, Pat said, “May the ladies rest well as on a cloud from Heaven.”
If you have a project in mind to support our residents, please contact Samantha Cheakalos, email@example.com.