I woke up, made my coffee, and watched the sunrise for a bit.
I packed up my gear and got ready for the Pataskala Area Chamber meeting that was going to be held at Pataskala Grace Church that day. The lunch at the meeting was prepared by the ladies of the church. It was very yummy! After we ate, I was invited to talk about the Community Blueprint and the 50 the United Way. Toward the end of my presentation, I invited Donna Gibson to share her experience with leading the Bridges out of Poverty program at Pataskala Grace Church and many other places. The Bridges out of Poverty program is one of the programs of Mental Health America of Licking County which is directed by Penny Sitler. Donna Gibson does a wonderful job leading this program and has the ability to relate and encourage so many individuals and families who are trying to move out of poverty into a more sustainable life. Donna is one of those gems in our county who is really helping to “build a culture of hope”. Thanks Donna and Mental Health of America for all you do for our county. At the end of our sharing, I was very surprised to receive a wonderful donation that had been collected by the chamber and matched by its current president Laura Edelblute. Thanks Laura and the Pataskala Area Chamber for all your support of United Way and our County!
After the chamber meeting, some of the members of the executive committee of the United Way board of directors came to the church for a meeting. These folks are vital along with many other volunteers in helping to carry out our mission throughout Licking County. Helen Hall, our Office Coordinator, was also present to take minutes. Thanks Helen and executive committee members for coming over to Pataskala for our meeting.
After the meeting, it was time to put the pack on and walk 6 miles to the Accel Inc. Company in New Albany. Along the way, I had a few people stop me and give me donations and to encourage me on my walk.
As I approached Beech Road, I was greeted by some of the wonderful staff at Accel. They walked the last mile with me into what’s called the Beauty Park. As we approached Accel, a few dozen of the other employees, along with David Abraham, the CEO of Accel, came out to greet me. They had put together a campfire and arranged for some dinner. Several of the employees hung out until after dark around the fire. Rita had decided to pitch her tent and to take the sleep out challenge. It was nice to have the company and to get to know Rita. We had a good evening before hitting our tents for some sleep.
At 11:30 p.m., a woman came to my tent and woke me out of a deep sleep and said “Deb, I thought you might be cold tonight so I brought you this scarf to help keep you warm”. I was half asleep but also deeply moved by her thinking of me in this way. There are so many kind hearted angels out in our community!
Continue to follow Deb on the 50 the United Way journey. To donate toward 50 the United Way, go to www.unitedwaylc.org/50donate