A Gift for Tarica

A Gift for Tarica

Sometimes caring for a neighbor means looking beyond basic needs and simply giving a gift of fun—


We often feature stories about how NWC comes alongside families in crisis by meeting urgent or practical needs. But sometimes being a “neighbor who cares” means seeing beyond what is basic and practical – and remembering that all of us need moments to just feel special and cared for. In this month’s feature we highlight NWC volunteer Anne and how she encouraged a single mother with a gift of personal care—


Recently at New Life CityChurch, our Women’s Ministry group was gearing up to provide Christmas for two struggling single mothers.  The group discussed what these women needed, made up plans and lists, and divided up responsibilities.  I sat quietly and listened to the stories of the two women, and the list of items that the group decided to purchase for them.

Food.  Socks.  Underwear.

All basic items.  All needed and necessary. But…boring.  It struck me that these single mothers had not requested one thing for themselves.

Now, I love treating myself to a pedicure.  I’ve been getting them for several years from my nail technician, Tina—even though she doesn’t speak much English and I don’t speak any Vietnamese at all, we’ve become friends over the years.  I love her.  I love her so much I wanted to share her skills with one of these two women.

With that in mind, up went my hand.

“…I know these mothers and children need basic items, but Christmas should be a joyous occasion.  These mothers are sacrificing so much, and I think we should do something to help them feel special.  I want these women to truly feel like they are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’, as it says in Psalm 139:14.


A Gift for Tarica

The other women readily agreed, and I was given the green light to pursue my idea.  I was excited, but then self-doubt kicked in. Perhaps the money would have been better spent on more practical items? Maybe the ladies wouldn’t want to go with me, a stranger, to an unfamiliar nail salon to get their toes painted.

I stalled.  I put off calling them for a while until, one random Thursday in November, these women came to mind and I “braved up” and called one of them. Miraculously, she answered the phone on the first ring.  Not only did she want to go with me, she was so excited she wanted to set an appointment for the very next day, mentioning that her eyes were filling with tears as she looked down at her neglected toes!

I called Tina the technician to schedule the appointment and off we went.  Tarica was so happy – so lifted and encouraged. I was thrilled to be the hands and (newly painted?) feet of Jesus—thrilled to be able to give such a simple gift and yet, in the process, able to remind this single mom that, in the midst of her difficult circumstances, she is beautiful – she truly is indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made”.


A Note From Pastor Don

Dear NWC friends and volunteers — My wife, Hildred and I wanted to express our heart-felt gratitude for your thoughtfulness, generosity, and kindness extended to the many families and individuals that Neighbors Who Care has been privileged to serve this past year. Your financial gifts and investments of time and labor are reminders of one of the fundamental reasons we were placed on this earth—to care for our neighbors. I’m compelled to pause in the midst of a busy season and be reminded that giving is an expression of the character of God. “For God so loved the world that He gave…” At a time when our world seems to be more polarized and adversarial, it’s refreshing and encouraging to know that there are people in our lives who simply care about others in need.  Friends, I pray your celebration of the birth of our Lord will be filled with “joy and glad tidings.” You’ve touched our hearts and we’re grateful.  Merry Christmas and God bless! Pastor Don