Photo courtesy of live w msc (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of live w msc (Creative Commons)

Do you say thank you enough?

I had an experience this week that made me rethink and pay more attention to the people around me and what they do. And being more intentional about telling them thank you.

I work at a nonprofit that helps people with basic needs, like food, rent or utilities when they are in crisis. Many of the families we’ve seen lately have never needed help, which makes the requests more poignant.

This particular family fell fast. The husband had been in a car accident, and was badly injured and out of work. The wife worked but did not make enough to cover the bills, mortgage and new medical bills and prescriptions.

They quickly went through savings and became desperate.

We were able to help with utility bills and food. And in order to protect their home, we tapped some special funds in order to cover an overdue mortgage payment. This was more assistance than was typically granted but it was a dire situation.

That was over a month ago.

We got a call this week that the check had not gotten to the mortgage company and the wife had been served foreclosure papers at her work. What trauma!

She had scrounged up this month’s payment but the bank was demanding the full amount in order to stop the proceedings. We reissued the check and she picked it up to go to the bank. Then we get another call that the check was not made out correctly and they wouldn’t accept it. Trauma upon trauma!

We got the correct information and issued yet another check. The bank was on my way home, so I took the check to her and met her in the parking lot. I was floored.

She started apologizing to me that I had to bring the check! Are you kidding me? I kept telling her how sorry we were that this had happened and she was just shaking her head telling me how grateful they were for the help and that I had come by. Amazing.

In the midst of her panic and worry about saving her home, she was more worried that she had caused trouble to me. It was on my way home and not even out of my way.

I learned a new lesson in gratitude this week.