MEET GARI SMITH: sisterly love knows no bounds.
How did you use Fund the Nations to help fundraise?
In 2018, my sister, Tolly, was put on bedrest in the hospital during her third pregnancy with my beautiful niece, Louya. We are a part of a large family that was able to come together during that time to help with her two boys and other needs that arose in those two months, including their search for a new house. Louya attempted to come into the world a few different times, leading to more medical attention and monitoring. Prayerfully, she made it to full time with the help of the incredible doctors and nurses and both Tolly and Lou are doing great today! We sold t-shirts during this time to family and friends to help offset the medical costs for Tolly and her husband. FTN worked diligently with us to make sure we got a great design for everyone interested in supporting them!
What’s one thing you learned through selling shirts?
I wish that we would have offered a few more color options, which I think would have helped us sell even more! Being diligent in advertising them was helpful in getting the word out as well.
What’s one way your family felt supported and encouraged during this trying time?
We really felt supported during this time with all the people who reached out wanting to help. People were willing to give and buy shirts, which was so helpful! They went above and beyond paying extra, etc. It helped us be generous as well with what the Lord was giving us. One of my nephews had his birthday during the time my sister was in the hospital, so our family and friends got to have the party in the hospital room. Instead of bringing gifts for my sweet nephew, we were able to bring goodies for baskets to love on the nurses that had been helping Tolly and Louya every single day! What a blessing to be able to share the same love we were receiving with others! We even had a sweet friend who does hair come cut and style Tolly's hair in the hospital to love on her. Small things meant so much!
What advice do you have for someone wanting to love on others and serve them while?
I think a lot of times, pressure or lack of talent/resources keep people from loving on others. Just do it! Use the talents and resources you've been given and just do something! Whether it is a talent for basket weaving, hairdressing, or an extra $20 a month, just do it and serve others! Do the hard work of finding a way to serve and then give it 100%. There's not a right time to start loving others by serving them.
If you could tell the world one thing about serving, what would you say?
Jesus left heaven, became like a man, and came to earth to serve. He came to serve sinners through his life, death, and resurrection. The perfect example of service can be found in Jesus Himself, who humbled Himself to love others...others who sinned against Him. We should follow His example and with our feeble attempts, sacrifice to love others in a way that ultimately honors Him and points them to Jesus for the salvation of their sins. What a beautiful testimony that will be!