Sara Laws: My Model of Love and Service

I met Sara Laws at an Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” event, where I learned about her work for the Hope Chest for Women. I was immediately attracted to their small grassroots organization serving women with breast and gynecologic cancer. I initially thought she might sell products I was offering at the time to benefit non-profit groups. Instead, she had ideas of her own how I could partner with entities bigger than her agency. After she shared her concerns about her agency’s ability to raise funds, I began to think she’d make an ideal business partner.

Sara’s skills include designing custom partnerships that benefit both parties. I ended up offering to work one day a week at Hope Chest to do some grant writing. As I typically do when I want a Yes, I told her the pay per hour didn’t matter; I’d accept whatever pay the organization could afford. Sara made all the arrangements, including a living wage hourly rate for me, and shortly after we spoke, I was working my one day a week. She saw something in me that others did not. She was able to look beyond my age to see the contribution I could make to her agency.

Although I liked Sara right away, I realized how wonderful she was the first day we worked together. She was sweet, smart and open to my ideas. The more open she was, the more my ideas flowed. Despite a chaotic work life, she took time with everyone and anyone who needed her — Nicole from down the hall who has a brain injury, for example, and the women calling her with financial and emotional stress from their cancer diagnoses.

Sara’s love for others shines through in her dedication of service. If love is an intense feeling of deep affection and to serve is to perform duties or services for a person or organization, then Sara embodies “loving service.” I envision myself as an ambassador of love, and Sara is my model for how to align my actions with my words. Her love for all radiates and brings light and love to me.

Thank you, Sara. You live to love all and serve all, yet you know that sometimes we all fall short of this ideal. I am honored to work for Sara and the Hope Chest for Women in Asheville, North Carolina.

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The Hope Chest for Women

Thanksgiving Eve, lyrics by Bob Franke

It’s so easy to dream of the days gone by

It’s a hard thing to think of the times to come

But the grace to accept ev’ry moment as a gift

Is a gift that is given to some

What can you do with your days but work & hope

Let your dreams bind your work to your play

What can you do with each moment of your life

But love til you’ve loved it away

Love til you’ve loved it away

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