In the hectic, stressful weeks leading up to Florence Forth, Leslie and I sometimes ask each why we do this. The past few days were a wonderful reminder why. And it’s all about community.
Earlier this week our previous bagel provider let us know they were unavailable this year. Here we were twelve days to the race and no bagels for the finish line. Freak out time, right?!
Leslie decided to make a cold-call (via email) to the Bagel Bar, explaining Florence Forth and our need. Within 12 hours, Jonathan from the Bagel Bar responded offering to supply our bagel needs. He didn’t know us or Florence Forth. It was an act of generosity for a group in need. This was only the first act of community.
On Friday, I decided to hold a Florence Forth meeting at the Bagel Bar as a small thank you. Little did I know that Jonathan would be at the Durham store working the bagel line because an employee had called in sick. When another customer called him by name, i stepped up to introduce myself and say “Thank You”.
It was wonderful to be able to personally thank one of the many faces of generosity in our local business community. Thanks again Jonathan.
Upon returning to my seat, that same customer approached me and asked about Florence Forth. “Are you involved with Florence Forth?”, he said. “I’ve always wanted to run the race. Many members of my church speak so highly of it”, he continued.
I explained Florence’s story, the origin of the race and all that we have accomplished. His eyes were nearly watery realizing that I wasn’t just a race volunteer. In telling our stories, I came to meet Andy Winn, an Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church Durham. He asked how his church could be of service to Florence Forth. While writing his contact info, Andy also wrote a prayer for our community.
As I rode my bike down Main Street a few minutes later, I was lifted up by the community we live in, the community that surrounds and supports us. Thank you to the Bagel Bar for being our newest sponsor and supporter. Thanks for all who pray for us. Thank you to ALL our sponsors who have supported Florence Forth for five years.
I can’t wait for this Saturday when we all gather to Florence Forth again.