Food For Thought: The Gift of Encouragement
Tracy Law loves to to cook and to make food for other people. Every other week Tracy provides HOPE House with lunch for 40 people that includes a sandwich in a bag with an encouraging message on it, fruit, and cookies – 80 cookies, “because it’s not okay to only have one!” Tracy calls this personal initiative Food For Thought. “The idea of Food For Thought is healthy food for people to eat but also an encouraging message, like food for their mind”.
Tracy shares that a couple years ago a friend of hers had mentioned that she and a friend made sandwiches and would go to a park and hand them out to people in need and this idea, for Tracy, stuck. “There’s something about it that made me say, I want to do that in a different context. As time went on I felt that God was placing ideas, planting seeds of what it would look like”. Tracy starts preparation on Sunday’s and make the sandwiches Monday mornings. Someone is here at HOPE House to meet her and receive them Monday morning at 8am before she heads to work as a business analyst in the insurance industry
Tracy admits to being “very particular”. The presentation is important. “I don’t want this lunch to look thrown together. The sandwiches have to be neat, no egg salad hanging out the edges. I am serving them, they’re like my guests”. Tracy chooses four different inspirational messages every other week and bags 10 sandwiches with the same message in an effort to spark conversation. “I hope that they inspire, encourage and help people move through whatever they might be going through” she confides, “because you can never offer enough encouragement. One of my spiritual gifts is encouragement and not growing up with a lot myself, I just recognize that even the little things mean a lot”. According to Tracy the main message of Food For Thought is ‘I’m bigger than what I’m going through’. She aims to remind herself and others that there is more to life than our struggles, to be ourselves, and that we have something to offer, that we are all valuable, “that we can, you can, I can, they can, keep moving forward!” Tracy states that she prays on the different messages she includes and trusts that every person is going to get the message that most resonates with them.
When asked, Tracy shares that she chose HOPE House because, one, it’s part of the Lakeside family and, two, she’s inspired by what’s done here. “It’s the dignity. It’s not charity, it’s different. All the services that HOPE House provides reaches out into the community. The HOPE Stylin’ Hair Salon, Clothing Market, all of it, I just want to be a part of it. I can’t imagine not doing this”.
We are heartened by Tracy and thankful for her amazing gifts of time, energy, food, encouragement, and commitment through Food For Thought. Gratitude, Tracy. You are appreciated.
If you have a unique gift or idea that you’d like to share with the HOPE House community, please contact Gillian at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.