It was about 0 degrees outside on the January morning I was scheduled to deliver 760 hygiene kits to the women at the correctional facility in Vandalia, MO. To enter the facility, I had to receive prior approval from the Department of Corrections and set up a time to drive through the back gate to access the dock. This type of delivery requires timeliness and preparedness. I had allowed for extra time with my travels that morning, but I had failed to account for the effects the freezing weather might produce. Bundled in my gear, I went out to unlock the trailer to load the 3 pallets of goods, when I was greeted by a very stubborn, and very cold lock. I tried and tried with all my mite. Physical force wasn’t working, so I went and found the key, also no luck. I went to a local store and purchased lock deicer, but it still wouldn’t budge. I was feeling defeated and running out of options. Finally, a last-ditch effort found me dragging the longest extension cord possible and a small space heater outside to try and warm the lock. This probably looked funny from a passerby, but within about a minute I heard the lock release, and I was back in business. I was loaded and ready to go within a few minutes and had just enough time to get to the facility at exact time I was scheduled for. The things you learn in this role are funny and never cease to surprise me.
The most important part of the story is that the rest of the delivery went very smoothly, and I was ever so thankful. Ideally, these kits would get delivered in December so they could be a Christmas gift. But with supply chain issues lately, we couldn’t make our desired deadline this year. Since we were already into a new year, I did not want the frozen lock to be what stood between these women receiving fresh bottles of shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, lotion and an emery board. We are very thankful for the few groups of volunteers- some local families and an elementary school leadership class- who helped assemble and prepare these kits. We nearly tripled the number of kits we’ve been providing the last few years and were able to share a kit for every woman in the facility. We celebrate the opportunity to share God’s love and light through these hygiene kits.
Exploring the past and the present of Festival of Sharing.