Most people heading into retirement do so with the intent to focus on themselves. To slow down and take it easy after their years of work.
Mr. Jim and Ms. Faye have flipped that view of retirement on its head. Rather than focusing on themselves in retirement, their hearts, prayers, and actions have been turned toward others. Instead of than slowing down, they are gearing up to help people know God’s love through various causes, both locally and internationally. Over the past few years, Thrive has been blessed to be one of them.
Using What They Have to Serve Others
We met Mr. Jim and Ms. Faye through their our friends at Plains Presbyterian Church in Zackary LA, when a group of volunteers was working to renovate one of Thrive Housing’s properties in St Roch. Since that day, working side-by-side with Thrive’s former Executive Director, Ben McLeish, Mr. Jim and his wife Ms. Faye have stayed close, impacting countless families and businesses through their involvement with Thrive. Reflecting on Mr. Jim, Ben McLeish expressed his admiration for him and his wife, Faye, explaining, “Some people see their faith and their work as separate. What has been so special about Mr. Jim and Ms. Faye is that they see them as one and the same. He’s taking the same skills he has as a business owner and using them for others…doing intentional Gospel work in word and deed.” Over the years, Mr. Jim has leveraged his L.I.F.E. for others through Thrive NOLA in countless ways. He and Faye have leveraged their labor as volunteers: renovating houses, sorting donations and delivering trailers full of donations to Restoration Thrift. They’ve leveraged their influence through their commitment to pray for Thrive’s staff and each person we encounter through our work, and by inviting others from their church and family to partner and serve with Thrive. Through the years, both have leveraged their finances as committed donors as well.
“They aren’t just board members. They aren’t just supporters. They’re family, and that’s what’s transformational.” – Chuck Morse
And for the past four years, Mr. Jim has leveraged his expertise as an active board member; helping guide, direct, and counsel Thrive’s leadership using his background in business.
Transformational, Not Transactional
“Mr. Jim and Ms. Faye have been such an immense blessing to Thrive…but what’s so special, so transformational about them is that their commitment is not transactional, it’s relational.” Remarked Chuck Morse, Thrive’s current E.D. “They’ve prayed for and walked with our staff and the people we serve through the best times and the worst times. And likewise, we’ve had the privilege to pray for them and their families as they went through some of the hardest and scariest times. They aren’t just board members. They aren’t just supporters. They’re family, and that’s what’s transformational.” Over the years Mr. Jim and Ms. Faye’s support has helped provide housing and intentional mentorship for young men in the St Roch neighborhood, who are now fathers and community leaders giving back to their community. They’ve helped provide meaningful employment at Restoration Thrift, enabling leaders like Christy to grow from cashier to bookkeeper to now stepping into a leadership role she would have never imagined years ago.
Parents going back to school shopping, neighbors furnishing their homes, and families shopping for the holidays were able to get affordable clothes and goods that they take pride in thanks to their commitment to the Thrift Store. Over 140 entrepreneurs have launched, grown, and strengthened their businesses through Mr. Jim and Ms. Faye’s involvement in starting Launch NOLA four years ago.
Mr. Jim and Ms. Faye are inspirational, not because they are extraordinary people on their own, but because they are an example to us all of how lives are changed and communities are impacted when ordinary people do ordinary things with Gospel intentionality.
We all have unique gifts and abilities, and regardless of whether you chose to leverage your Labor, your Influence, your Finances, or your Expertise, when you choose to commit to using what you have for others, like Mr. Jim and Ms. Faye have, neighbors, families, and businesses flourish.Leverage your L.I.F.E. on behalf of the families, communities, and businesses that Thrive NOLA walks alongside.