Telling others about the ways Franklin Homes Realty LLC is giving back to our community is often difficult. Primarily because it feels like it is self-serving. That's why we don't usually share this with others. However, we've decided to do so this year to alert others in our wonderful city of Franklin TN to some of the needs that exist within our own community.
There are many families living right within Franklin that need our ongoing assistance. Maybe they've lost a job or due to health issues are unable to work. In some cases, they are just economically disadvantaged and can never seem to get ahead. Whatever the case, there are men, women and children who need our help.
We were very blessed this year. While we weren't new to real estate, we opened a new real estate brokerage, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, in 2015. It is owned and operated by Tammie and Tom White of Franklin TN. It was a very successful first year for our company. It only seemed fitting to share our abundance with others in our community. Rather than spend lots of money on gifts for each other, we opted to provide Christmas meals for 10 needy families.
Fortunately, there is a wonderful organization in our city, Graceworks Ministries that provides assistance to families in Williamson County. Everything from Christmas food baskets to hosting a toy store called The Manger where disadvantaged families can buy new toys for their kids at substantially discounted prices. All the money earned goes back into buying more toys.
This year, Graceworks asked for volunteers to help them shop and deliver 1,000 Christmas meals. They provided us with a list of families requiring assistance and even provided us with a very comhensive shopping list. We commend Graceworks for the excellent job they did of coordinating this huge undertaking.
Typically, when people think of providing food baskets, they are told to provide non-perishable items such as canned goods or boxed items. That's not what Graceworks suggested. While the list did include many canned items, it also included items that needy families may not purchase for themselves. The list included a 10 - 14 pound ham or turkey, flour, sugar, eggs, milk, bread, dinner rolls, fresh fruit and vegetables and a pie for dessert. Everything a family would need to prepare their Christmas meal. We did all the shopping and then delivered these Christmas baskets to the homes of these 10 families.
As Franklin real estate agents, we know the area well. As a matter of fact, we would argue that there isn't an agency that knows Franklin as well as we do. However, when it came time to deliver these food baskets, we discovered there were a few locations in Franklin that we weren't familiar with.
One area was a little trailer park neighborhood. This location has a very nice website and a nice young man was able to give us directions when our GPS couldn't find the address. When we drove into the neighborhood, we were shocked to see the conditions of some of these trailer homes that are rented to residents. Some of them were in such bad shape it was hard to believe anyone could actually live there. It was heartbreaking. Providing Christmas food baskets didn't seem like quite enough but every family was so happy to receive them.
It was such a joy for us to give to others in this way.
Now comes the real challenge, not just for us but for everyone who serves their community in this way. What's next? It isn't enough to just deliver a food basket and forget about what we saw. Now, we have to decide what we do with this new information. How do we continue to serve these families? What needs do they have that we aren't meeting?
Fortunately, Graceworks Ministries provides assistance to families all year round, not just at Christmas. This gives us a wonderful opportunity to learn all the ways we can help these families and become a regular part of their lives.
The other day, we ran into one of the men who received one of our Christmas baskets. He recognized us and thanked us again for the help. It warmed our hearts to serve this man in this way. Our continued prayer is that God will show us other ways we can help these families.
If you are a resident of Franklin TN in need of assistance, we encourage you to reach out to Graceworks. If you aren't in need, we encourage you to give to Graceworks Ministries through donations or financial assistance. They provide a much needed service to those in our community.
Matthew 25:40 in the Bible says,:
"Truly, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
Let's continue to give all year long.