Just days before their wedding, Jake and Alexsis Woolsey gathered 23 of their closest friends and family to serve dinner at the Portland Rescue Mission’s Burnside Shelter. “It started as a simple idea… to give back,” Jake said. They fed a warm meal to 274 men and women in need, greeting each one as they entered the doors. In turn, they were showered with well-wishes and advice for a long and happy marriage.
Jake recalled one conversation in particular, with a man named Giovanni. “[He] walked up, stuck his hand out, and told [us] that he wanted to give us a gift. It was two, one dollar bills…He said that he was excited for us, and joked that I would need much more than what he gave me because “marriage is expensive!”
Jake took a moment the next morning to reflect on Giovanni’s gesture of kindness, saying “[It] nearly brought me to tears. It was a monetarily small gesture that I will never forget. $2.00 to Giovanni is very likely a good amount of money to him while he lives on the streets. It was a beautiful illustration of living life in abundance…. Kindness and generosity can be shown in so many different ways… I encourage you to find a way to be generous to someone…. Like Giovanni showed, it doesn’t have to be a big thing to make a huge difference in someone’s life.”
Jake and Alexsis plan to start serving regularly at the mission, and hope to encourage others to do the same. It may not seem like a lot, Jake realizes, but “Never has $2 meant more to me.”
On behalf of Portland Rescue Mission, as well as the men, women and children that we get to serve, congratulations Jake and Alexsis!