We are operating under Seminole County's executive order. Face coverings are mandatory and social distancing regulations are being enforced in and out of our buildings.
It was dark. Black. Void. Empty. I couldn’t see anything around me. I could hear voices, hesitant to break the stillness that settled over us gathered around the open field. The voices slowly drifted off until an ocean of silence washed over. And we waited.
Then there was a flash! Color. Light. Everything. In a revealing moment, I could see all that was hidden in darkness seconds before.

I saw faces, of all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages light up in dazzling smiles. I saw parents hold their children a little closer in warm embraces. And I saw couples sneaking starry-eyed glances under a paparazzi sky.
Oh and the singing! Choruses of cheers repeated one after another as if a hundred harmonies were on cue. The buzz was electric, palpable even. The show had started and it was opening night. Hundreds of fireworks screamed out of their metal shells and erupted into full rainbows of color as time slowed, people drew closer, and trouble wasn’t just forgotten, it disappeared entirely. All thanks to a few flashes of light.
That’s what Christian HELP is. It is the flash of light in the darkness, the chorus of voices that belts out words of encouragement and hope. It is a beautiful reflection of what independence is. Independence is the freedom of like-minded individuals who put aside the differences they do have, to accomplish their goals for the betterment of the community. That is what my coworkers and bosses do. We are all different people, and we serve any individual regardless of what their story is. We have the freedom in this great country to come together and help those who need it, when they need it.
And as the finale of color ended I reflected on the moments I captured in my head and thought about the independence I have that my job provides for people. Just as we are free to shoot exploding rockets into the sky, we are free to be a giant beacon of light into others. We encourage families to become independent as they find better jobs and access our food pantry to avoid costly groceries. And I am grateful I get to be a part of, and see that independence light every day.