People accused me of being self-centered and money-motivated ever since I can remember. Regretfully, I must admit that it was true. Business and making money consumed me. I was a Type A personality and a workaholic with no life outside work.
Then, in the winter of 1989, I met Helen Gay (affectionately called Sister Gay). From that point on — my life began to change. I started my journey to understand what it means to “give back.”
In 1961, Sister Gay founded a Christian-based homeless shelter in Houston for women and children called The Mission of Yahweh. She gave up a life of comfort and put her faith in God to provide. By the time we met, she had lost both legs and zipped around The Mission campus in her wheel chair. While continuing to run the shelter, she adopted 24 children from mothers who gave them up.
I never met anyone so unselfish. She thought nothing of giving her last penny to a poor person needing to buy medicine or her own plate of food to someone hungry. As I watched her tireless giving, I began to donate money to The Mission for small things like children’s shoes and school supplies.
I was surprised to find that the more I gave, the more I felt like giving. One day in 2004, a crisis happened at The Mission. The money dried up and The Mission faced closing. I feared what would happen to the women and children with no place else to go. I knew that we could not put these families out on the street.
I made a pledge to myself and to God that I would never let The Mission close. I wrote a big check and put my faith in God to provide for my family and me. Over the next year, The Mission got back on its feet. To my surprise, God more than paid me back. My business doubled in size over the next six months! Since then, my support of The Mission never wavers. I continue to work so that I can give. I finally have a reason to make money and a purpose in my life.
Although I am only one of a few lucky enough to have had Sister Gay in my life, I see her spirit live on in the good works of The Mission supporters and my fellow givers.
About Pamela Lockard
Pamela Lockard has been board member of The Mission of Yahweh since 1990. She is the founder and owner of the marketing firm, DMN3 with offices in Houston and Dallas.