Hi Friends,

It truly is amazing how the smallest deeds can provoke the greatest impact. Two days after Christmas, I had the incredible privilege of lending a helping hand at Cornerstone Community Outreach, a local food pantry and homeless shelter. I had never been to this specific food pantry before, and went with much anticipation. Once my friend and I arrived, I sensed such a warm and inviting atmosphere. As they gave us the procedure of what needed to be done, I couldn’t help but feel “complete”. It was in that moment where I feel like I belonged. I was there for a reason and called with a purpose- that “purpose” was to serve others. 

It sounds incredible simple. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but I guarantee it’s the most rewarding in the end. Once I saw the doors opening for lunch, people of all ages and races came rushing through the doors from homeless men and women, children, and single mothers with numerous children. Each one of them stood in line with a plate in hand, ready to receive their meal. It was in that moment when I saw their eagerness for something so essential, I witnessed such a great need and knew that I carried the responsibility of meeting that need in every way, shape and form that I possible could. From cutting and assembling pounds of meat, organizing numerous trays of desserts and washing hundreds of dishes and silverware, I was able to contribute to something much greater than myself. While I felt so small, I knew the need that these people carried was insanely massive and it provoked me to take action. 

One thing that really stood out and will forevermore mark this life of mine, was witnessing an NFL player walk through the Food Pantry’s doors and get his hands dirty for the sake of serving the community. Jimmy Staten- Chicago Bears Defensive Lineman, along with his mother and brother, humbly walked in and began to help serve food to the mass of people. In a short conversation with him, I found out he volunteers regularly at CCO (Cornerstone Community Outreach) with his mother. I couldn’t help but feel completely and utterly amazed at the simple fact that such a successful person would spend their free time with the poor, impoverished, and abandoned. It sparked a fire within me and ultimately helped me realize how EQUAL we really are. 

At the end of the day, no matter who you are, where you come from or what status you hold, we are all human. 
We all share that commonality and have the privilege to serve others regardless of the setting we find ourselves in. 

I strongly urge you to reach out and not just show love, but to BE love. Let it ooze from the core of who you are. Others will be incredibly blessed by your overflow, regardless of how big or small your act of love is. We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. We are called to be the light in this dark world. We are called to serve others because that is what Christ did for us. Regardless of how well known you are, or are not, we are all created to make an impact.

-Crystal Bernard

This Week’s Challenge:
We challenge you to show your love, no matter how “big or small your act of love is”. Do the thing you have been debating to do for a family member, friend, significant other, stranger, co-worker or anyone for that matter. 

Make sure to share your stories, adventures, photos, videos and more on social media!

Keep up with Crystal:
Instagram: @christysriella_
Click here for her website!

Twitter: @opbeautynation
Instagram: @OperationBeautifulNation
Don’t forget the hashtag! #OperationBeautifulNation

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