The right treatment can change the day.
My front wheels were damaged last week during the snow storm in the Greater Seattle area. One was clipped by a snowplow the other just dinged on a curb. An expense I didn’t need three days before Christmas.
So to make sure I have a car during this season (given that the replacement wheels would take a week), I decided to get all new wheels at a national tire chain. (You know the one that invites you to return your tires if ever you’re not satisfied.) At their nearest location, they didn’t have the wheels and they offered no solutions. I asked for other locations. Grudgingly, they provided me with phone numbers for two nearby locations. (I had to call them myself.)
Before I called I prayed (I tend to pray about most everything) and asked God to lead me to the right place and provide the wheels at a good price. The first number was busy. I tried the second. A courteous manager listened to my situation and offered a solution. He could get the wheels from another location in about an hour. The four wheels were about the same price as the two replacement wheels I had already ordered. So I canceled the first order and purchased the four new wheels. They had an employee drive (about 30 minutes each way) to get the wheels.
The manager told me what time to be at the store - they were staying open till all their customers were helped. Once I arrived, I learned that they had put me in the system at the time of my call – reducing my wait from four hours to two hours. What amazing service. They apologized on behalf of the other location. I thanked them for the excellent service – and told them they were an answer to prayer.
Preferential treatment: You can help kids and teens
So why write about wheels on the Semper Vita blog? Not just because it's a great story about a person who went out of his way to help someone in need but also because it's a great analogy about the plight of struggling kids and teens. Some people see them as necessary inconveniences while other people go out of their way to help them - making a difference in their lives.
I'm including three Seattle-area organizations that are serving homeless or at risk kids. (Not in Seattle, check out your local organizations. Want help? Contact us and we'll help you find the organizations in your area).
Here's three ways we can help kids in need:
- Vision House
Since 1990 Vision House has provided transitional housing with
integrated support services to homeless single mothers and their
children. Their premise:
- Kids shouldn't be homeless.
- Every child deserves a home free from anxiety and fear.
- Only $26 dollars per night provides housing and services to a homeless child.
- Friends of Youth
Friends of Youth delivers a broad range of services to youth and their families to improve their emotional stability and self-sufficiency. "Friends of Youth envisions all youth having every opportunity to succeed."
You can help by donating your time, providing needed items or giving to the great work.
1. Volunteer opportunities include:
- being a parent mentor
- providing childcare at one of the homes
- making dinners
- offering administrative support
- working as a special event or seasonal volunteer
- serving in development positions
2. Want to provide needed items? Here are some things on their wish list:
- personal care items
- teen clothing
- New Horizons Ministries
"New Horizons Ministries has been serving Seattle's street youth population since 1978. The faces have changed over the years but the nature, heart and extraordinary resilience of these kids remains. That's how we see these youth – as people who are quite extraordinary."
As a multi-cultural organization, they see their mission as follows: "to be in relationship with homeless and street involved young people, serving and loving in the way of Jesus, equipping them to leave street life."
You can help financially, by volunteering or both. To give to the work visit their Ways to Give page on the website. Looking for volunteer opportunities at New Horizons? They range from putting together
a building work group, to serving in a food group, providing office help,
or working directly with the youth.
Just three more ways to make Christmas special and continue the spirit well into the new year.
As for my car? It was ready after about two hours. Guess what? The wheels look great. Thanks to some great customer service and a caring manager.