It’s been an exhausting couple of days. Thank you for being with me. Please excuse any type-os. Here’s a recap:
Since I didn’t have Jack’s phone number, I called every like-named business I could think of and asked for Jack. One conversation went like this:
Yes, he’s tall. Um, no, he doesn’t have a glass-eye. Wrong Jack, but thanks. (you can’t make this stuff up).
Roadblock. Press on.
Finally, my cell-phone rang, it was Jack.
I called the Red Cross and was told that Gatlinburg Center had been CLOSED (feel free to call everyone you know and raise a ruckus). According to the volunteer, the nearest shelter is 16 miles away, which is of NO benefit to Jack, or any other worker in Gatlinburg who walks to work. Jack reports at 5 am.
I did not call the shelter in Pigeon Forge; it is of no benefit. We need housing, now, in Gatlinburg.
Called a church contact but the cell phone number didn’t work . . . roadblock. Pause. Shake it off. Press on.is
Completed #MyPeopleFund Application for Jack, which I know is futile. His name is not on the lease, or the power bill. He has fallen through the cracks, and sadly, he is not alone.
Began calling hotels and was told, QUOTE, “We do not rent to locals.”
Roadblock. Pause. Try VERY hard not to cuss. Shake it off. Press on. Dial another hotel’s number.
Praise God I found one hotel who would allow him to stay for two nights.
Shirts: taken care of. THANK YOU DONORS. They are arriving and more being shipped.
Money: Spent 45 minutes at Walmart , then later on the phone trying to reload his Walmart Money Card and transfer all the donations from y’all to him. The problem with the Walmart Money card is that the employer uses it to pay the boy so I don’t have the super-secret employee access code to put money on the card. BUT, I called a complete stranger (I’ll call him Angel-AmongstUs), whom I don’t know from Adam’s housecat. He is going to leave items, and $$ at the hotel in Gatlinburg tomorrow.
Trust: it’s what’s for dinner my friends.
Thank you Mr. Angel AmongstUs. He and I had a grand conversation, which went like this.
“Ma’am just tell me where in the hail you want me to deliver the money and the clothes to the boy and I’ll make it happen.”
After speaking to Mr. Angel, I’m seriously considering moving back to Tennesse, but I digress. . .
For now, Jack has a room, he has food, but he is not out of the woods. He is still in the cracks. It takes more than one day to pull someone out of the crack My Dears.
Here is our mission: We have 48 hours to find him a place.
If you know someone who lives in Sevier County, TN, or #Gatlinburg. Reach out to them. If you know a church, a mission field, an ex-spouse you really don’t like but they have a room, call them. Because in 48 hours Jack will be homeless again and my strength is failing.
Before I collapse, I want to share what Jack wrote to me in a text. He wrote: “I’m crying, bawling here at work. I don’t know what to say. I am so stressed and scared. I will pay every one of you back.” (Bless Him)
So, Dear Ones, if you had given up on humanity please know that you probably just saved this young man’s life tonight. You gave someone hope. He had already told me “it’s hard to step out on faith when there is no solid ground.”
Keep Praying. Ask everyone you know if they know someone who lives in #Gatlinburg or who was considering canceling their hotel reservations. Maybe we can ease Jack into their rooms.
Note: I can NOT add a Paypal Code to this free blog site. I will contact you via email with instructions on how to donate if you desire. Please be patient as this little blog post is getting quite a bit of attention.
Renea Winchester is a traditionally-published author, a gardener, and a giver of hugs.