It’s the third Thursday of March in Florida. It’s surprisingly cold.

A woman stands in line at The Salvation Army nervously gripping the handles of the wheelchair in front of her where her elderly mother sits. The woman is pretty sure this IDignity thing is too good to be true.

Recently she met someone at her church who told her an organization called IDignity would be able to help her replace her stolen ID. Despite the doubts swirling around in her head, she is in line at IDignity. She needs a new ID to be able to renew her lease before a fast-approaching deadline. She brought her mother because Mom needs a valid ID to be able to see a doctor.

As she worries about what she will do when this doesn’t work, a man with a mustache and a red IDignity shirt walks up to the woman and her mother. He has a stack of numbered cards and a clipboard.

The man introduces himself, “Good morning, my name is Charlie. What is your name?”

Looking down at Charlie’s out-stretched hand, the woman extends her own. This handshake is a kindness she hasn’t encountered throughout all of her struggles to replace her ID. As she feels herself begin to trust Charlie, and IDignity, she says “Hi, my name is Pam…”

–  –  –

It’s the third Thursday in August in Florida. It’s hot.

Pam stands in line at The Salvation Army, gripping the handles of the wheelchair in front of her. A couple of months back, after their birth certificates arrived, Pam and her mother received their new gold star IDs.

Pam (right) with her neighbor (center) and the woman who introduced her to IDignity (left)

On the day Pam got her ID, she told IDignity she intended to come back and volunteer. But today, she is not at IDignity to volunteer.

She is in line with a neighbor from her low-income housing complex. Her neighbor also needs an ID to be able to sign her lease. Luckily, Pam knew exactly who could help.

Pam knows the journey from anonymity to identity, from fear to hope. She now calls herself a walking billboard for IDignity, continuing to bring others to a place where they can find hope, too.