Charles's Corner – Meet Katheryn Harris

Every day in the community of Hillside I get to work alongside a lot of spirited people who have lost their ability to dream.  The light of hope has flickered away.  What I love most about Embrace Richmond is the ability to relight that candle of hope.  I’ve been working alongside a young lady whose candle has been relit.  Ms. Katheryn Harris came to the recreation center in search of employment and has been a regular attendant to the cooking team ever since.  She’s has shown so such dedication and motivation that it’s hard to remember her without her light shining. Her smile and warmth light up the room and the hearts of those she both serves and serves alongside. Like many in her community, employment is still her goal but being active in service is her passion.  If you are an employer looking for a special person with a kind heart and one dedicated to serving others, Kathryn is the right choice for you.  Please see the attached resume for Katheryn Harris for details on Katheryn’s gifts and experience.  For references, please feel free to contact Charles at charles@embracerichmond.org or Wendy at wendy@embracerichmond.org....

Meet Dreamer Denise Williams-Lenard

Denise Williams-Lenard was introduced to Embrace through the Family Team leader, Patrice Shelton. As a new resident, Denise was given a welcome bucket by the care team and was invited to join the family team to “explore and go on mission with them” building stronger families in Hillside Court.  Since that first visit, Denise has been participating on the team and quickly moved into a leadership position. Denise’s heart and willingness to serve her neighbors got the attention of the Embrace leadership team and she was asked to lead a Community-wide Hospitality Team.  Denise eagerly accepted this position.  She simply wanted to help Embrace spread love in and outside the community.  After all, in her opinion, how would others know what Embrace is about if she didn’t step outside the box? Denise felt strongly that “folks need to know that there’s help out there for them if they are willing to put forth the effort”. Denise’s dream for the Hospitality Team over the next three months is for the Hillside Recreation Center to be a place where people can feel at home, have their mind be at ease; where they would feel welcome and loved – in a word, feel Embraced!  We have no doubt that with Denise leading this group, more people will feel inspired to dream with her. Please join us in welcoming our latest dreamer to the Embrace Team.  Over the next few months, we will be helping Denise build a Dream Team in the community to work alongside her.  Please pray for Denise and all our emerging...

Dream Releasers Unite: Introducing "Dream Circles"

Wayne Cordeiro’s book, Doing Church as a Team, is one of my all time favorite books on church leadership. Wayne shares this story; Wayne grew up on an army base in Japan.  One day his family went for a ride outside the base.  When they stopped for lunch an old man at a booth caught his attention.  He was selling tiny birds that resembled a finch, in bamboo cages. He asked the man how much and was shocked to learn they were only 100 yen each, about 36 cents.  It was too good a deal to pass up so he bought one.  As he was walking back to show off the purchase to his family the old man called out to him in Japanese “Don’t forget to bring the cage back when you’re done!”  “Bring back the cage when I’m done?  I’m not planning to eat the thing.  I just want to take it home as a pet.”, Wayne replied. “Oh no,” said the old man, “You don’t understand!  The 100 yen is to take the bird to the edge of the valley and release it, so it will be able to fly freely!” This was the last thing this young boy wanted to do.  He felt that was the dumbest thing he had ever heard of.  But he did not have much of a choice, the old man was keeping close watch to make sure he got his cage back.  So he walked over to the edge of the ravine overlooking the valley below, opened the cage door and gave the bird a couple of nudges.  Edging it’s...

Stories From The Street: Overcoming Fear

One of our AmeriCorps members recently wrote: As an AmeriCorps member serving on the Southside of Richmond in the Hillside Court community I am constantly amazed by the capacity of the resident volunteers.  Every week those that I serve in Hillside Court teach me something new about service, generosity, community, family, etc..  Several weeks ago one of the resident leaders that I serve with taught me a lesson in courage. Susan is a 22 year old single mother from Hillside Court that began volunteering with Embrace Richmond last summer.  In September she became an AmeriCorps member and a block leader in the community.  One of the responsibilities of a block leader is to be out in the community making contact with the residents to identify gifts and talents of residents and connect them with other residents to make a positive impact on the community.  One particular morning I arrived in the community and everyone was upset, particularly Susan.  It turned out that shortly before I arrived a young man had been shot and killed and Susan knew both parties.  Certainly this would upset anyone, but Susan’s response seemed more childlike.  She did not want to go outside even though the shooter had been captured and there was a strong police presence nor could she concentrate on her role within the safety of the recreation center.  Eventually she went home unable to finish her day. The next day Susan was serving in her role as block leader knocking on doors and walking the streets of Hillside Court.  As she walked I could see a mixture of fear and determination on her face...

Salisbury Presbyterian Church Hosts Concert for a Cause

We are so thankful for our friends at Salisbury Presbyterian Church who through their Concerts for a Cause series, raised an estimated $900 to support the work of Embrace Richmond.  The audience was treated to the beautiful music of Irish soprano Anne O’Byrne and pianist David Fisk, executive director of the Richmond Symphony.  Thank you to everyone who came and showed your support....