At the beginning of March 2020, Jeremy and Jennifer were a young married couple, committed to their careers, their community and their family. They both had supervisory positions in facility services at museums in Washington, D.C., and Jeremy was also in school, part-time, studying for his bachelor’s degree. Their entire family was active in their local church: Jeremy served on the church’s outreach team, Jennifer sang in the choir and served with the hospitality ministry and their children were all active in youth ministry… but then COVID-19 happened.
Museums closed their doors to the public in an effort to prevent a global pandemic and to stop the spread of the virus. Those doors remained closed for almost two years and when they did re-open, not all employees were called to return to work. If they were asked to return, many times they returned on a part-time basis due to limited hours and new capacity restrictions.
Jeremy and Jennifer’s story is not unique for many of the working poor the Mission’s Family Ministry Center serves on a daily basis. Generally, when an economic downturn hits our economy, those at the lower end of the pay scale are usually the first to be impacted and the last to recover. Over the last two years, the Mission has served food, clothing, PPE, household goods and other necessities to thousands of struggling people every month. In addition to those essentials, the Mission provided COVID-19 testing, Bibles, prayer, medical service outreach and even delivered groceries and supplies to those who were unable to pick them up.
Jeremy and Jennifer had always managed to make ends meet. They were proud of the fact that they lived within their means and did not rely on public or private assistance to provide for their family, but the pandemic changed that.
Suddenly, they’re meager savings ran out and they didn’t have enough food for their family. Things like N95 masks and hard-to-get sanitization products were beyond their budget and out of their reach. Eventually, their local church referred them to the Mission for help.
Twice a month, for almost two years, they came to the Mission where they were greeted with empathy, care and the love of Jesus. Like thousands of others served by the Mission, they received bags of groceries, household supplies, PPE and other items. They received back-to-school supplies, a full turkey meal for Thanksgiving, and Christmas gifts for their children during the holiday season.
When restrictions finally began to lift, they both returned to work on a part-time basis and with the continued support of the Family Ministry Center, their family is stable, grateful, and hopeful for better days to come.