The Ripple Effect

Hands of Hope Blog

When we are in need, God is the one who sees us and who meets us where we are. For
Melody Gandy, that truth was made beautifully clear through the actions of God’s people in her
community, who were the hands and feet of Jesus to her family.

In June of 2020, Melody and her family responded to the enormous need that had been caused
by Covid and brought an eighteen-month-old foster son into their home. They had fostered
before, successfully seeing the children transferred to their pre-adoptive home, but their new
son had very different needs. Neglect in his early life led to behavior issues, and he had
significant developmental delays which required many doctor and therapist appointments.

Melody got connected to Riley Foster Care Bridge, where she and her son met virtually with
Dawn, a nurse whose job was to do several evaluations. In the course of those
evaluations, Dawn saw the severity of the boy’s behaviors, and instead of just writing a report,
she went above and beyond, actively working to connect the Gandys with the support they

At the time there was a wait list for Care Communities, but Dawn reached out, saying that for
Gandy’s to survive their new placement, they needed a Care Community urgently. A nearby
church responded to the call, and by August of 2020, the new community had launched.

The Gandy’s Care Community was led by Bill Fuller. He and his wife, Connie, were extremely
passionate about Care Communities and about showing love to the Gandy family. During the
time he was serving them, Bill was diagnosed with cancer. He continued to bring the family
meals and to serve as the team leader. Even while undergoing chemotherapy, he prayed for
them weekly.

The Care Community was still active when Bill passed away. Two weeks after his funeral,
Connie brought the Gandys a meal. Melody remembers Connie coming into her kitchen. “I said,
‘You did not have to do this,’ and she said, ‘Yes, I did. It was what Bill wanted. He wanted to see
you through to the end.’ It was very humbling to be served in that way.”

In February of 2023, the Gandys officially adopted their son. Their Care Community was present
with them at the adoption hearing. Melody shared about Bill and presented Connie with a gift in
his memory. It was a beautiful testimony to their attorney and judge and the whole courtroom.
The Gandy’s had experienced Christ’s tangible love through Bill, who served them until the day
Jesus called him home.

Melody is committed to showing that same kind of love to others. She has started a Family
Advocacy Ministry (FAM)
in her own church now, and they’ve launched several Care Communities. She
wants to encourage more believers to imitate the example of Dawn, Bill, and Connie, who saw a
need and were not afraid to step in.

Melody knows how hard it can be. Her Care Community walked into some very difficult
behaviors and situations. But they came right into the mess and stayed in it. That’s the key,
Melody says, just walking through the hard situations without timelines or expectations.

The impact that faithful love has had not just on her and her husband but on all of her children has
been incredible, and the ripples continue to spread to those around them.

Are you interested in learning more about Care Communities? Click here!