Have you ever wondered why some companies are successful when others don’t succeed? I believe it’s because they put their hearts before their hands.
I began researching and I came across The Green Team Helping Hands Inc. I am connected with Ashley Benton on social media and I have watched her post countless photos of her team helping the homeless, so I reached out to Ashley since I don’t personally know her, and I requested a company interview. Here’s what I found:
“Hi Ashley, I would like to ask you a few questions about your company but mostly about you.” There was a pause and then Ashley said, “OK.” So I proceeded, “The first thing I would like to know, I have read in other publications that you give to those in need because your father taught you to always care for others, is that correct?” Ashley said, “Yes.” I thought, “OK we are off to a great start.” “But what I really want to know Ashley is what makes you do what you do? Why did you start your company in 2012? Now before you respond to this Ashley I want you to take a deep breath and really think because your WHY is a place of pain.” So she began, “In 2001 I had a family disagreement and there became a need for me to vacate the house. I had a daughter who was two at the time and a son who was nine. I began reaching out to all of my friends and family to see where I could stay for free since I had no job and knew it would be a while before I might land one. However nobody wanted to lend me an extended hand. Sure they would help with a one-night stay and some food, but I needed a place of security for my children and me. My only choice was to live in my car.” Now with tears starting to choke back Ashley’s words, I asked, “Take me back to that experience Ashley, what was it like looking into the eyes of your children, how did you keep yourself together?” Continuing crying, Ashley said, “I am a woman of faith and I knew that it was my responsibility as a parent to provide some normalcy to my children. So we would do homework in the car and do our best to talk, laugh and play. I really had to get my hustle on when they were in school and land a job. After much searching I was placed with a temp agency and I began to work.” Wow I could semi relate having grown up low income. Ashley’s story was taking me back to my childhood days of waiting in line for our government cheese. “OK, Ashley now go really deep and explain to me a moment of hardship with your kids during these 30 days of homelessness.” Ashley now taking a deep breath letting her tears flow said, “I remember going into a local McDonald’s and washing up my children so they would be clean and presentable for school.” Now that is Mommy dedication. “So Ashley, would it be safe to say this is what drives you?” Without hesitation Ashley responded, “Yes, I am blessed to have had a car, I can’t imagine having been homeless with no form of shelter. It’s my passion to make sure as many homeless people have what they need to make it through life. If this means clothing, toiletries or a shoulder to cry on; I won’t give up because the pain of those 30 days has stuck with me as if it was yesterday.”
I was wondering what the future would look like for Ashley, what if more people joined together with their heart before their hand? So I asked Ashley what her company’s greatest needs are and where she saw The Green Team in five years and here’s a list of her responses.
- I am believing for a building, a place for the homeless to rest in a temporary home environment that supplies love and laughter.
- Donations so I can continuously help those in need.
- A sister company in each of the different states joining together making this country a better place to live in 1 person at a time.
Now being ‘connected’ to Ashley on social media I noticed she was an OWNER so I had to ask, “Ashley I noticed you are an OWNER, can you tell me what that means?” A moment of silence, “Yes, being an OWNER comes with great responsibility to always authentically represent yourself and OWN programming at all times. But it’s more than that, being an OWNER has connected me to a supporting network of like- minded people, a community that is supportive and has pulled together in moments of need. For example, when I was trying to find a way in 2014 to put together a Thanksgiving Feast for the homeless, it’s OWNERS that joined together to make it happen. I could not do what I do with my company without the love and support of others since I am a not for profit company.” I thought, “how amazing to belong to a group of incredible people that supply light and love.”
Now stop and think. How many times have we all wanted to be heard, understood and noticed? Imagine being homeless, cold and hungry on the streets. Are we stopping to lend a hand or are we stepping over and walking by? Imagine if suddenly tomorrow we lost it all, everything gone in the blink of an eye, what would we do? How would we make ends meet? How would we get food and shelter? Where would we go? In January 2015, 564,708 people were reported homeless in a given night. Some of the homeless include the youth. So what’s the cause?
- Family conflict
Thanks to the Green Team, they are making a difference one person at a time. The question is do we believe in paying it forward? It’s time to put our hearts before our hands because when we do, this world is destined to become a better place to live in. It’s time to ‘Connect.’
If you would like to make a difference in another person’s life please click on the Green Team Link http://www.greenteamhelpinghands.org/
Together we can make this world a better place to live in!
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