I Want to be Like Ty: Old First E-pistle 09.23.16

I Want to be Like Ty: Old First E-pistle 09.23.16

This weeks E-pistle is written by Alesha Thomas, our Outreach Coordinator.

He walked in with a bold smile and with a bit of a twang asked, “How can I help”? I said, “Excuse me?” He said, “Hi I’m Ty, how can I help”?

For weeks Ty has been helping Saturday morning volunteers and breakfast teams. Setting up tables, folding and sorting clothes and most recently organizing clothing bins and creating a much-needed pathway in the shed.

Ty isn’t an ordinary volunteer. No stranger to the hustle and bustle of city life, he currently lives in subsidized housing. As for employment, if he’s unable to secure bus fare, he walks from North Philadelphia to his place of employment in University City each and every weekday. As for Ty personally, he’s endured more pain, heartache and abuse than any of us could or would want to imagine.

And yet, just by his actions, his demeanor and willingness to help you’d never know of his heartbreaking past.

Have you ever met a person whose whole aura makes you feel good? Whose very presence is uplifting and hopeful? If you haven’t already, then come one Saturday morning to volunteer and meet Ty.

Without wanting, without an ulterior motive, Ty comes faithfully each and every Saturday. His need: to eat a good meal and fellowship with good people.

Taking time out from my life, and opening myself up to someone else, even for a few hours on a Saturday morning, has changed my mindset. No longer am I consumed with the ordinary nuances of life that once affected me so greatly; today they often seem like a waste of energy.

My life hasn’t always been easy, but by no means does it come close to the one that Ty lives or the life that so many of our Saturday morning guests live.

Do you remember in school when your middle school teacher asked, “Who do you want to be when you grow up? Who do you look up to?” Like so many, I gave a rather generic answer “ I want to be like my mom” or “I want to be just like my dad” or “I want to set an example like Martin Luther King.” Fast-forward 20 years later… I want to be like Ty.

I want to radiate positivity; I want my presence to shine like Ty’s. I want to overcome life’s challenges with grace and humility, not pity or morose.

Come one Saturday morning, even if it’s for a few hours or just one time. Find your Ty. Look beyond yourself and find light in someone else.

See you in church (I’m in worship the first Sunday of each month),

Alesha Thomas, Outreach Coordinator