The Helped Becomes the Helper

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This article was originally published in October 2012, by Rhonda Fisher.

C* came to CPO to place her children for adoption. Of course, we were happy to help, and C began to regularly attend the birthmother support group on Tuesday nights.

Now we all know C as the warehouse coordinator. She meets donors at the warehouse to receive donations. She spends hours organizing household items and sorting clothing into ages, sizes, and seasons. She greets girls in need and assists them in choosing items for their apartments, for their children, and for themselves. She meets adoptive parents who are volunteering to help move furniture items to a girl’s home. She comes to support group, not only for her own well-being, but also to provide an update on the needs and status of the warehouse.

When asked how she came to be involved as the warehouse coordinator, C simply shares, “I had been going to group pretty steadily and Cheryl B. just called me one day and they needed someone fast. And I said ‘yes’.” And that was that.

C says when girls come to the warehouse to pick out items they are “usually pretty shocked. We have everything that they need… they’re pretty overwhelmed. I sometimes have to direct them to finish one thing and then go to the next thing, you know.”

C says that all donations are accepted. The most important thing is that donations are clean and in good condition. She urges donators to remember that “this is going to go toward the girl who–yes, she’s getting stuff for free from us–but you still want her to have nice stuff.” Often when a girl comes to choose items, C encourages them “to not just take what they need right now, [but also] take stuff they might need down the road.” For example, don’t just take maternity clothes, but some infant clothing as well. When the girls feel overwhelmed with the generosity, C reminds them that they can help others as well by donating the items back to the warehouse when they are finished.

It’s yet another testament to the beauty that is inherent with CPO: the helped becomes the helper. C needed help, and after having her various needs met, she wanted to give back to CPO. Becoming the warehouse coordinator was a big job, but C makes it look easy. It’s amazing how God brings us all together to help one another.

*The names of the women CPO helps are always redacted for privacy purposes.