Many of us would probably not take the time to really study the bag itself, it’s strength and it’s shine. It’s innate ability to contort and shape itself around that which we shove in it, day after day. Then, it’s ability to withstand the trip from the trash can to the dumpster with out breaking under pressure, although some inevitably do because the contents became too much.
Now, picture an individual that people pass by day after day, not focusing in on what he or she is going through. Not catching a vision as to their talents and their strengths. A lot can become piled up in their lives and for many years, they may hold on, but soon enough, they break under pressure with no one to help them pick up the pieces. That is where The Salvation Army steps in and with various programming geared at lifting up, teaching and encouraging people, transforming lives from ashes to beauty. Individuals and families are provided with hope and a new way to look at their lives. They are more than what they seem and with resources, love and most importantly God in their lives, there isn’t anything they can’t achieve.
So here we are at our Women’s Auxiliary luncheon, 2 weeks ago and at the podium, we enjoyed a moving and heartfelt testimony from Pamela Abdalla, an Advisory Board member for The Salvation Army in Pittsburgh, and on The Salvation Army National Advisory Board. Pamela shared on her love for The Salvation Army and for the work being done providing, “second chances to those who need it the very most.” She also remarked that The Salvation Army is “quietly efficient and remarkably effective” with the tools and resources we have. That said, Pamela decided over 20 years ago to raise awareness for the cause and the families that we serve by transforming ordinary trash bags into evening gowns fit for a gala event that would raise money to support the mission and insight into the challenges facing our community and how through The Salvation Army, people are being radically changed!
An ironing board sat in the middle of the room and with even, well practiced strokes, Pamela showed us how to flatten out and design dresses out of garbage bags. She created ribbons, pleats and ruffles that resulted in ooo’s and ahhh’s from the audience. She displayed a hand crocheted garbage bag dress that was beyond intricate and dazzling and explained that women as well as men enjoyed this gala, donning garbage bag cummerbunds, bow ties and vests! At each of these galas, pictures and thank you cards from the families served at The Salvation Army were placed at the tables for each guest to read through, enabling them to gain a greater understanding of why they were there.
Hosting a “Garbage Bag Gala” or any other type of creative event is a wonderful way to engage your community and enlighten them to the cause. While always seeking the correlation between the event and the mission, never failing to remember why it is we do what we do. It’s all about Others and how we can serve!