Dawaun Johnson is a man who has faced many challenges in his life. “I’m originally from Chicago. I grew up with a big family, 5 brothers and 2 sisters. We went through a lot growing up, there wasn’t enough for everyone. In January 2011 I moved to Minnesota with $800 in my pocket and no job or car. I was able to find a job in Chaska but had no place to live, so I went to a motel in Chaska. I didn’t have a car, so I biked 5 miles to and from work each day, praying to God to watch over me and protect me. It wasn’t easy to ask for help. Where I come from you don’t ask for help, but knew I needed someone or some organization to help me.”
Dawaun’s life began taking a turn for the better when he reached out to local agencies including Love INC. “PROP and the housing authority helped me out with part of my deposit. The day the Love INC truck pulled up, I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve, I couldn’t wait for the presents to arrive.”
Ginger Mulcrone, a volunteer with our FurniShare ministry said, “When we delivered the bunk bed to Dawaun’s house and assembled it in the bedroom, we saw the excitement on Dawaun’s face, just watching him think about how excited his boys would be to have a bunk bed.” Connie Schibilla, another Love INC volunteer said, “We put the couch against the wall, hooked up the TV and put some lamps on tables. We even added a plant next to the window. When we were finished, Dawaun sat down and said, ‘This is great, this is home.’”
Besides FurniShare providing the furniture, The Linen Closet ministry of Love INC gave Dawaun sheets, blankets, pillows and towels. Love INC’s Bike Shop gave a bike to his son and the Personal Care and Kitchen Essentials also pitched in.
John Thomas recalls, “I had a great time with Dawaun that day. We laughed together, moved furniture together. I was able to kid around with him quite a bit – he has a great sense of humor. Dawaun said, “Once everything was said and done, John asked to say a prayer for me.”
“Kneeling in prayer with Dawaun, praying for his children, his health and work, and for his life to start to stabilize a bit. Just to be at one with him in prayer, lifting up his name to Jesus, asking him to provide all these things that he so desperately needs, not just furniture—was a tremendous moment that I will never forget.”
Dawaun continues, “Love INC really helped me along my path of becoming who I am today. Being able to accomplish what I have today, I would have not been able to without Love INC. I’ve seen God’s presence through these people. They didn’t have to help me, they didn’t know me, they didn’t owe me anything. They did it through their faith. I wish there were more people around like that. All I can say is Glory to God—to feel the love that comes from them and the helping hand from people I didn’t even know!”