“Do you know how many gallons of water it takes to flush a toilet?” The woman on the other end of the line asked.
Jane Wiley went silent.
“It’s two gallons,” the woman said, answering her own question.
Jane, a CarePortal volunteer at her church in Fishers, Indiana, had just received a request for assistance. She made a phone call, and connected with the requester, a grandmother who had taken in her grandchildren through kinship care. The added responsibility was stretching the woman beyond her resources—she had been without water for four months.
“She was borrowing it from a neighbor,” Jane remembers. “She was growing really weary…You think of cooking and bathing and everything. Imagine not taking a shower. You don’t feel human anymore.”
Thanks to a donation from someone in the CarePortal network, Jane was able to meet the grandmother’s request, restoring access to fresh water in the family’s home.
“‘You will not imagine the timing of this,’” Jane remembers the woman saying. “She actually said she had been crying out to God…It really restored her in that moment. It encouraged her.”
Through her experience as a CarePortal volunteer, Jane has encountered all kinds of needs, complex and simple, costly and humble. She believes God uses them all. She recalls kids’ delight at receiving name brand snacks, or new clothing. “They can’t believe you’ve just handed them a packet of Cheez-Its or Oreos,” she says, “or they get clothes and the tag is still on them.”
Once, Jane and her team of volunteer CarePortal responders committed to helping a physically disabled grandmother who was unable to leave her third-floor apartment while caring for her grandson. “The grandson wore a very specific size,” Jane remembers. “It’s really hard to find.” But one of the CarePortal volunteers happened to have a grandson who wore the exact same size, so she knew how to locate and deliver clothing tailored to the boy’s needs.
“The grandma was blown away. Only God can do that,” Jane says. “Any time you’re serving, it’s a blessing,” she adds. “God uses it exponentially.”
Jane’s admiration extends to the men and women she has the privilege of serving. She remembers a single aunt taking in all of her nieces and nephews, or another aunt adding kiddos to her already full home.
“These people are really standing up for these kids and sacrificing to take them on,” she says. “I often find that when I am talking to the caregiver, I’m surprised by how vulnerable and real and raw they are, and it’s refreshing. I know how hard it is at times to receive help. In that moment, to bring that balance of dignity in the midst of despair, it is just a privilege.”
If you are interested in joining the CarePortal network as a volunteer, tap HERE to learn more.