By Curtis Michaels
Roswell Daily Record
There’s nothing random about Melissa Mendoza’s kindness. She founded A Servant’s Heart from a heart that knows kindness is about choices.
“When I was a service manager in charge of tellers, we did fun things to keep morale high. When I became an agent recruiter for Farmer’s Insurance I was no longer managing people.” Mendoza says about her desire to brighten people’s days.
Mendoza’s kind heart is obvious for all to see.
“People would come to me for prayers, and I wanted to say something special just for them. So my prayers were always personalized. I ended up with a reputation for being uplifting,” she said.
The concept of random acts of kindness is a sneaky one. To be kind, one must have kindness in their heart.
Mendoza explained that when you seek to do random acts of kindness you are actually programming yourself to see and use that kindness. You are building a habit that serves and blesses your fellow man.
The random part falls away quickly and you end up being someone others think of as uplifting.
The primary work of A Servant’s Heart is to help the homeless. It works with other groups in town to collect nonperishables and necessities for homeless people, and then they distribute bags filled with these items.
“That really took off! I got so much help in this. We are doing a drive from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30 to collect stuff, and on December 3 we are hosting an event to put care packages together for the homeless,” Mendoza says.
A Servant’s Heart has partnered with Rivers of Life, Harvest Ministries, the Salvation Army and the Roswell Refuge at different times.
Mendoza is constantly looking for volunteers and donors. She’s especially interested in reaching out to teens.
She knows that when she helps a teen find kindness and compassion for others, the teen will have a far greater chance to grow into a self-possessed, loving and self-directed adult.
“I see more people getting involved, my goal is to target teens to get involved. I volunteer at 180 at my church.” referring to the youth program at Church on the Move.
Mendoza is proud and grateful for the opportunity that running A Servant’s Heart has given her, raising her children.
“A Servant’s Heart has also been a way of teaching my children the importance of giving and of seeing themselves as a part of a community.”
Community is diverse, and A Servant’s Heart is open to all people in the Roswell community.
Recently Mendoza started a drive to show appreciation for those who serve us in the capacity of law enforcement, firefighting, and nursing.
The plan was to gather items to make small gift bags for them. Items like candy, gum, pens and pencils, hand sanitizer, packaged snacks, hand lotion, coffee and thank you notes were requested.
Unfortunately the response was small for this initiative, though there will likely be another attempt at this again. Mendoza learns from the disappointments in life and she does better next time.
“I believe we are all given special gifts and one of mine is the gift of encouragement.” Mendoza explains.
You can expect to hear from Mendoza and A Servant’s Heart for many years to come as she continues to work with the homeless, and with donors and volunteers in building a network of kind-hearted people who understand the power of gratitude and of service.
“I want different means of reaching out to the youth of Roswell. We are working for a young entrepreneurs group for high school kids as well as A Servant’s Heart,” she said.
Mendoza is enthusiastic about the relationship between business people and the sense of community that fosters service.
Mendoza and people like her take a long view. They recognize that while service often means making a small difference here and there, with the occasional blessing of making a significant difference in someone’s life; the bigger picture is in bringing more and more people together in service, finding the kindness in their own hearts, and serving the community from the knowing that we are all in this together.
There are a number of organizations and individuals working each from their own space in our community to bring more and more people together in service to all.
These people and groups sometimes work on their own, and other times work together, with people moving back and forth through them as their own life situations dictate new needs and passions. This is simply the natural flow of the life of a servant.
The result is that all of these people find each other, and help each other reach out to those who have not yet sought the kindness in their own hearts.
They inspire by their actions. They lead by example. They help all of us to remember that compassion is the natural way to be, and the only by service to others can we heal our own past hurts.
Mendoza makes the point clearly, “It doesn’t cost you anything to be kind, and you never know how much good you can do for others. Also when you give yourself to others in service, you grow and are happier.”
If you or someone you know wishes to be a part of serving your community, if you feel frustration or anger and need to try something new to heal that, try service to others. It works.
You may contact Mendoza at Farmer’s Insurance District Office, 200 W. Hobbs.
By Curtis Michaels