BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - While helping others we often heal ourselves. That is certainly the case for Tracie Mark Smith who is “Doing Good” one box of food at a time with Grace Klein Community. Tracie is the team coordinator for the non-profit ministry which distributes more than 300 food boxes once a month to more than a thousand families in the Birmingham area.
A $30 donation pays for one box filled with non-perishables, frozen meats and fresh produce. It’s all free to those who need it most. Businesses donate extra items such as hotel towels and bouquets of leftover flowers.
At one point, Tracie herself needed such food boxes as she struggled with alcoholism, homelessness and ended up serving time in prison on drug charges. “I had a nice life but I had to lose it all because of choices I made,” Tracie said.
But those choices turned for the better as Tracie began to volunteer and says, “It truly changed my heart, thinking people just wanted a hand out to seeing some of them looking for a hand up. But most just want someone to hold their hand and walk through the mess with them. That’s what I needed and what Grace Klein did for me.”
Volunteers line up in their vehicles to load up and make deliveries. Some are in large SUV’s while others are in small cars. One volunteer loaded 13 boxes in his small sedan. Before each load is driven away Tracie prays for the recipients and the volunteers. She says it strengthens her faith, “To see how God provides through us. Not just by letting somebody else do it. Constantly seeing my Father at work is what makes me tick.”