I’ve volunteered for over a year at the Somer’s Lighthouse. The residence are loving, caring, and love have people come to visit and get to know them. You can’t leave without several hugs and loads of smiles.
Shirley asked me in her thank you for a recent contribution “What is your inspiration for giving?” My dear friend Dottie “introduced” me to the ministry 7 years ago, when she asked me to donate one of my painted carousel horses for the annual sweetheart ball and dinner auction. After about 40 years away from God’s presence (my choice, NOT His), I had been re-baptized in August 2009. My best friend of 30 years has a 31 year old son with Downs. He was “high functioning” (has a job at our grocery store as a stock boy and does custodial two days a week). But still, he will always live at home, since the nearest group home is 95 miles from here; too far for Dennis and Amy to just go see Steven.
I retired from a 30 year career in the Nevada State parks and had a good pension. But five years ago, my husband had racked up some bills on his last home construction job (his career). I went back to work to pay them off. Last year, I paid off the bills then a year ago my husband Merlin died. I am now comfortable financially- house and cars paid off long ago. And yet, the Lighthouse is in need.
With thousands of charities in need, why the Lighthouse? Because you are small, in a fairly small and rural area. I believe in your mission, and I know that God has blessed me so that I can bless others. I do contribute to a few other charities, but less and less often, because as a postal clerk, I see how many other people receive the same letters and appeals that I do. But I see no one else receiving mail from the Lighthouse (1000 boxes in the Post Office where I work). And I know that my small contribution truly makes a difference!
God bless you all!
with love, Barbara
Dear Friends of the Lighthouse,
My wife Sue and I first started volunteering at the Lighthouse in 2005, when we heard from a parent that the residents needed volunteer ski coaches for training for the Special Olympics. We thought it would be a good way to give of our time while using our love of skiing. We quickly learned that although our time contribution was needed and very much appreciated, we were the ones who were truly blessed by our spending time with the Lighthouse residents.
Each ski run and loading at the chairlift produced an enthusiastic “this is awesome!”. The resident’s enthusiasm for whatever they were doing, their love of God and of others, and their grateful attitude taught us a lot about how we should live, and we were blessed by being with them. We ski coached for about five years and others are now doing it, but the friendships we made with the Lighthouse residents during the years we coached created lifelong relationships for us and for them. We now find other ways to volunteer at the Lighthouse, and each time we do, we benefit from it.
The Lighthouse is a blessing to so many including the 16 residents who live there, the staff, the volunteers who serve, the donors who give, those in our community who interact with the residents and the families of the residents.
Rose, Andy’s (a resident) Mom said; “…As a single, working mother when Andy was in high school, I worried about what would become of him after school when I couldn’t be there to look after him all day, and he might be alone…about the time he was graduating I learned of the Lighthouse and knew this was the perfect place for him. He has been there for several years, is part of a big family there and has a full life with a lot of activities and support…I’m grateful he is at the Lighthouse…”
Over the years we have watched the Lighthouse residents mature and grow in their faith and in their love for one another. We are especially impressed by how each resident has developed their special purpose at the Lighthouse, according to their talents and abilities. Living at the Lighthouse has enabled each resident to have a life full of purpose and dignity, where their faith can be encouraged and developed, and where they have learned to love and serve one another.
As a new Member of the Board of Directors and as a friend of the Lighthouse, I would like to encourage you to give to the Lighthouse as you are led by the Lord, and I would like to thank all of the volunteers, staff and donors. Your time and your gifts are what make the mission of the Lighthouse possible.