Last November, Jim agreed to do the overnight shift with the Interfaith Hospitality Network at St. Thomas’ Church, Whitemarsh, where he is a member, and to drive families back to the Day Center at Hope Gardens in the morning. That’s when he met Jamilla, a client in shelter. She was nine months pregnant–and four days past her due date.
“I was worried that she’d have the baby that night while I was there. She assured me that (even though this was her first baby) he would not come before the morning.”
Thankfully, she was right, and, relieved, he drove her over to Hope Gardens early the next morning. On the way, he asked Jamilla how she was getting to the hospital when the time came.
She calmly said, “I’ll call a Lyft or take a bus.” That didn’t seem like a good plan to Jim, so he gave her his cell number.
“Sure enough, Wednesday morning at 5:22 am I got a text that read: ‘Good morning Jim. I’ll take that ride ASAP if possible. Let me know.’ I drove her to the hospital, and later that day she gave birth to Zachary (7 lb 4 oz, 20 inches). She was so calm! Meanwhile, I’m running red lights and then pacing around like an expectant father, boiling water and passing out cigars! Mother and child are doing fine.”
He says he’s honored to be one of the many volunteers who touch the lives of the families in our programs.
“A ride to the hospital is not hard to give; it’s one of a hundred ways that we can reach out to help others….I am proud to serve with you all.”