News & Updates

Grace Carried Her Through

A woman hadn’t eaten in three days when she came to GraceWorks for help last month.

Erica Watkins, administrative assistant in client services, answered the office page to help the woman.

“She was very upset. She was red-faced, and she was hungry. She had no money and things were tough. On top of it all, she said it was her 25th wedding anniversary that day, but she and her husband were not together anymore,” Watkins said.

The woman had just moved from Knoxville. A certified medical coder, she’d submitted several job applications in the Nashville area, but no job was forthcoming.

The first thing Watkins did was give her a tray of fruit and cheese, which she bolted down.

Discovering the woman is celiac and could only eat gluten-free food, Watkins started reading labels and finally brought out a selection of food she could choose from.

She set the woman up with a GraceWorks volunteer to see what she needed. The discussion ended with the woman saying she had to leave for a job interview and would come back for the food.

Later that day, Watkins looked out the window and saw the woman returning. The woman saw her and mouthed, “I found a job. Come hug me.”

Watkins rushed outside.

“Her whole demeanor had changed. She was smiling and so grateful, so thankful, to GraceWorks, Watkins said. “She said she was certainly at the right place at the right time, and now that she had a job, she could use the food we gave her for lunches at work.”

— By Kathi McClure

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