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Unexpected Blessings

We can’t do this work alone. We need prayer, volunteers, finances, and so much more. And so often someone shows up with a blessing that we couldn’t even have expected or asked for.

About 2 weeks ago, Curt called our offices from MANNA Worldwide. With 171 ministries around the world, MANNA seeks to partner with churches, individuals and corporations in an effort to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support to those they serve. Curt heard about what we do at Out of Darkness and wanted to connect us with Keri at MANNA, who was planning a unique event.Manna6

On Sunday, September 14th, over 120 women representing multiple churches came together to learn more about MANNA Worldwide ministries and how they, too, can give back.  MANNA’s goals for this event were to bring awareness of needs around the world, introduce opportunities to become involved in “giving back,” and provide ladies with an immediate opportunity to be a blessing to someone in need.  As Keri put it “All of our goals were reached, far beyond our expectations!”

Ann Taylor Loft’s involvement in the event was a tremendous “gift” from the start, thanks to Christine Ziminski, one of the managers of Loft, who heard about MANNA Worldwide’s efforts to help those in need and wanted to get involved.  Manna1Loft offered to host the event and ship any clothing items purchased by guests to any designated ministry in the U.S. After learning about the many victims who are rescued through Out of Darkness, the plan to purchase classy, business casual attire seemed to be a perfect way to help the women feel confident while preparing for job interviews and new careers.  The ladies at the event were extremely touched and honored to have an opportunity in which they could purchase an outfit for a women getting ready to start a new life!  26 pre-selected outfits, with jewelry, were selected.  A rolling rack displayed the items and was swarmed by generous guests for most of the evening.  All 26 outfits were purchased, along with additional pieces of clothing for casual attire.

Loft generously provided a 40% discount on any item purchased during the event.  Loft associates, MANNA’s invited guests, and a few ladies who happened to be passing by the store, caught a glimpse of the excitement and decided to join.  Encouraging cards accompanied the gift-wrapped packages that Loft assembled and shipped today.  The Regional and District Managers of Loft have had many positive responses regarding the event, and would like to further discuss future partnership and possibilities with more events!Manna4

We cannot say THANK YOU enough to MANNA, Loft, and all those individuals who made this incredible idea a reality. In just a few days, precious ladies who for years have been told they have little worth and beauty will be blessed by the kindness of strangers.

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