November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving with a twist…

Spending Thanksgiving this year in Las Vegas, Nevada (being from New Mexico it is necessary to differentiate which Las Vegas).  We had a chance to work with my niece’s church, Calvary Chapel Spring Valley with their BlessFest event.

Blessfest is an outreach to those who are having a difficult time making ends meet or ended up somewhere in life they hadn’t really anticipated.

My job was to work transportation to ensure that guests getting off of the bus made it to the right area.  I, of course, made it a little bit more and turned into a mini welcoming committee.

What a great and encouraging time to welcome people, see them eye to eye and to provide encouragement.  Inside, they had a chance to take a shower, visit a hairdresser, get a manicure, visit a dentist and get a meal… among other things!

Between busses, I had a chance to send some tweets sharing a little bit about who I met and some general observations.

@Tom_Garrity An early morning and lots of volunteers at #blessfest #LasVegas

@Tom_Garrity Working transportation at #blessFest in #lasvegas

@Tom_Garrity Had a nice convo w/a guy named Paul who is at #Blessfest w his 2 kids, out of work for about 8 months.

@Tom_Garrity Paul is a carpenter says he helped to build many of #lasvegas casinos, no more to build for now. He is thankful for health and family

@Tom_Garrity People getting off busses all with different needs some with all of their belongings.

@Tom_Garrity A lot of thankful and a humble people here, another van just arrived #blessfest

@Tom_Garrity Seven people on the last van. A daughter and her father, ppl in 20s 50s and 60s … big bus just arrived

@Tom_Garrity Nearing 1,000 ppl served and it isn’t even 8am in #lasvegas #blessfest

@Tom_Garrity Met a guy named Tim from Colorado Springs he has lived in 47 states and is here getting treatment for an illness.

@Tom_Garrity Another person named Russ is an avid USC fan tho he talked more about LSU and Alabama #blessfest

@Tom_Garrity A young mom, about 22 has flipflop and her feet are black from being on the streets

@Tom_Garrity Just high-5’d a grandma and she hits hard! #blessfest

@Tom_Garrity So, who serves these folks the other 364 days? Another van is here…

@Tom_Garrity A nice man named Norman has lived in a lot places but is glad that he is in #LasVegas today. #blessfest

@Tom_Garrity Met a lady named Kathy who is originally from Ohio and has lived in #LasVegas since coming out here to take care of her mom. #blessfest

@Tom_Garrity Kathy has been without a job for a while now and is moved to tears by the thought of free dental care and a good meal.

@Tom_Garrity Another woman named Liza is here with here three kids, another mom just showed up pushing g a twins stroller #blessfest #lasvegas

@Tom_Garrity Another person named John moved to #LasVegas from #LosAngeles 9 years ago and lost everything when you the real estate market crashed.

@Tom_Garrity This is fun, sharing some tips with other volunteers on how to start conversations with strangers! #blessfest

@Tom_Garrity A nice young woman named Cindy is here at #blessfest she calls LasVegas home and is looking forward to free dental exams.

@Tom_Garrity Another person just came out holding some teeth that were just pulled says he is thankful for the pain to be gone #waituntilthenovacainw …

@Tom_Garrity Our time at #Blessfest is done, a great way to start the day with a different perspective.

Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

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