HelloHealthy | Summer 2019 7 ‘My rock’ Evelyn Solis, of Bakersfield, never dreamed she would be someone “in need,” but after escaping an abusive relationship, she and her seven children found themselves starting over with nothing. “I just thought to myself, ‘OK, it’s just going to be tough from now on,’” Solis recalls. At the same time, Crissy Cochran and her family were looking for a way to give back to the community and teach their children how to serve others. “My biggest fear is that my kids would grow up and call themselves Christians and say that they love God but not know how to love God’s people,” Cochran says. Through CityServe, the Cochran family has been able to supply Solis and her kids with groceries, a Christmas tree, and a new dining room table with enough space for them to sit together as a family. The two women say they’ve formed a deep bond through this experience. “She’s my rock. I prayed for her to come into my life,” Solis says. “I know Crissy genuinely cares about me and my family— just like I care for her and her family.” Personal connections “Evelyn teaches us so much,” Cochran says. “We are learning how to reach out and help someone who we wouldn’t have naturally been friends with. A vehicle like CityServe is great because it gives us a chance to help in ways we otherwise wouldn’t be able to.” Building relationships is a central focus for CityServe. “Nothing is going to bring transformation without building relationships first,” says Robinson. “You cannot speak into people’s lives; you cannot come alongside them until you build a relationship.” “CityServe will equip you with the tools you need to help,” says Cochran. “We just have to get up, get out, and be bold.” 50 CHURCHES 30 ORGANIZATIONS & have partnered with CityServe. The groups submit orders to the nonprofit, then pick up food and other supplies to be distributed to the neighborhoods they serve. How you can reach out Organizers say they would love for more local churches to come aboard, and volunteers are always needed. For more information on ways you can get involved, visit cityservebakersfield.com .