I believe so many efforts never truly leave the starting line because of the overwhelming fact that the need is so great. Take homelessness for example... According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were 643,067 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons nationwide as of January 2009. Additionally, about 1.56 million people used an emergency shelter or a transitional housing program during the 12-month period between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. This number suggests that roughly 1 in every 200 persons in the US used the shelter system at some point in that period. When a person learns these facts, they could be discouraged and start looking at a homeless person as a statistic instead of one life. Our volunteers focus on the simple fact that each person is greatly valued by God, and so we should value that person as well. It is easy to become hard-hearted when we are constantly seeing and hearing of the great needs around us. I challenge our volunteers to look beyond simple statistics and be bold enough to enter another person's pain. We must be constantly aware that we are a solution to the world showing those we serve and those watching this service that Christs love is so profound, so deep, that He not only cares for the WORLD, but He cares for the individual. When we value people, we are honoring God. We are an exact representative of His grace, love, and His sacrifice. Getting involved in a life usually costs us something, yet the reward is far greater than the cost. This beautiful girl represents one precious life. She has received our love and concern and practical help through our work with her mother. I believe in the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words, so I leave you with this.