Dear Diary, The other day when I drove my daughter to school, I saw a sign that read, New president. Same God. That’s the reason why my friends and I aren’t down and depressed about the elections. In fact, we are invigorated. We are compelled to work hard to ensure that our neighbors feel love and support when the news says they should feel fear and anxiety. We’re not alone. Others are joining us in the good fight. This weekend, we saw the result of our blood, sweat and tears when Free Store Penn Hills opened to the public in the Lincoln Park Community Center. We opened to a full house–more than 60 people packed the hallway. Some opened their hearts and donated their belongings. Others opened shopping bags and received items they needed. Everyone opened their arms and hugged one another. In the end, we cut a ribbon for our store, which was built debt-free! Friends and family members pooled their resources and filled the store with everything we needed–from commercial racks and a children’s corner to furniture and décor, courtesy of the new At Home store. For a moment, we forgot that life is unfair. That poverty exists. That privilege prevails. Instead, our thoughts focused on children, making crafts, selecting books and smiling through painted faces. And we reflected on a quote that says, Small acts when multiplied by millions of people can change the world. That’s exactly what’s happening in Penn Hills. Residents, including the school district superintendent, are rallying around this idea that one kind act can change their community–a community where countless middle class families thrive alongside those slipping into suburban poverty. The store strives to serve as a safety net, to catch those falling through the cracks of the system. Our founders and supporters refuse to cozy up in front of our fireplaces and watch premium cable shows when our neighbors don’t have food in their refrigerators or clothes in their closets. We can’t be comfortable when inequities and inadequacies exist. You can join us in our mission to love our neighbors. For a few hours a month, you can volunteer at the store, sorting and distributing donations. You can facilitate a workshop, arming others with information they need to succeed at home and at work. Interested? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.