By Leilah Grace
We arrived home, a stack of Amazon boxes piled on the front steps. Fifteen boxes sitting waiting to be opened after being gone for 72 hours. Three quarters of those boxes were for Rue, the rest some household items for my family. Boxes that radiated love, compassion, and the overwhelming generosity of the APT family. Boxes that connected my family of 5 to growing larger family in our APT community, and to the person that has drawn us all together, Rue.
As those boxes were being delivered that weekend my children and I were camping in north central Pennsylvania, and found ourselves unexpectedly without cellular service. At the top of a lone mountain over that weekend I found service and a number of voicemails from an increasingly anxious Rue. With just enough service to maintain a call I called him, reassured him that we were fine, only camping and had not anticipated the lack of service. We worked through the issues at hand, signing off our call, and my promise to reach out when we were home. Arriving home we found that stack of boxes, it was July 2020 and I was barely 6 months into volunteering for the APT yet nearly every aspect of my life now intertwined with the APT.
I find so much joy, love, and excitement in my work with the APT. I started my volunteer work here hoping to help another individual work towards an incredible goal, as I had been so blessed in my life. I stay because it fills me with joy and love and a passion. I stay because of the community we are growing, the mission of our work, and my belief in the dreams that Rue has for our organization. I organize the boxes of supplies you all send so generously; I help you all in creating the meals that go into the boxes that feed Rue physically and spiritually on trail; and then I pack and craft the resupply boxes that eventually find their way to Rue. Each box mailed is a gift of generosity, love, and hope from our community funneled by me.
“You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr