Lighting a Fire to Serve

This summer my American Family Insurance agency helped Bridging the Gap to provide and serve lunches at CJ Park.  As part of this service project, we closed down our office on two different dates so that the entire office could attend.  My husband and I thought that it would be a good idea to bring our daughters, ages 10 and 6, along to serve lunches. The first day when we arrived the kids helped us unload the pizzas from the van and they began to serve lunches.  They also spent time playing with the other kids on the playground. The kids had a great time! During this playtime, our daughter Addyson met Jacob. Addyson and Jacob hit it off immediately! Jacob told Addyson about his family and about his love for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Over the next few days and weeks, Addyson could not stop talking about Jacob. We could tell that she was really looking forward to returning to the park to serve lunches prior to the start of school.

The kids and I showed up on the appointed day to serve lunches and assist with an art project.  Addyson had gotten a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy for Jacob the morning prior to us going hoping he would be there.  The kids had a blast playing and helping with the art project. We were there for a couple of hours and Addyson started to get worried that Jacob wasn’t going to come but right at the last minute she spotted his mom’s truck pulling in the parking lot. Jacob came up and gave Addyson a hug and she went to help him with gathering lunches and then he added his handprints to the art project. As they were talking, Jacob told Addyson that he had gotten a new bed and that he really wanted a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pillow.  From the moment we left Addyson was on a quest to find him that pillow! She researched and saw to it that a new pillow was ordered for Jacob. We are currently working with Bridging the Gap staff to get Jacob’s new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pillow to him. We hope he enjoys it!

Serving at Bridging the Gap has been a great experience for our office and our family.   It was great to see our girls just being kids and enjoying their time together with the other kids.  We have been able to make new friends and meet new people all while serving our community. I am also very thankful to Bridging the Gap for providing our children the opportunity to make new friends and to learn that we are often the ones who benefit when we take the opportunity to serve others.  I hope Addyson never forgets the connection that she made with Jacob and I thank Bridging the Gap for helping to light the fire to serve in her heart.

Renee Horton

*The name of the child has been changed for the protection of his privacy.