Abby Shields
Abby Shields (Founder)

Dear Friend,

I want to start off by saying a huge THANK YOU to all who volunteered, supported, and attended our annual fundraiser, The Heart and Soul Gala, at The Greystone. It was a wonderful evening of fun and dancing that celebrated family, marriage, and the work of the ministry over the past 12 years. Our auction was the biggest and most successful it has ever been thanks to the efforts of Jennifer Massett and our team of board members and volunteers. I am so grateful that God has brought us together for a work such as this. 

Some of the funds raised at the Heart and Soul Gala will go towards the ministry’s operating costs, while the rest will be put towards the operation of our CARE community outreach. Our CARE community outreach looks to offer short term financial assistance to those struck by economical crisis. We encourage them with God’s love as we help with “real world” needs along their journey back to self-sufficiency. In a video we presented at the Gala, there was a man named Tommy who came to the ministry because he had lost everything in Katrina, then again in the floods of March 2016, and was unemployed due to having to care for his ill mother. NHLB came along and helped him with various needs like furniture, food, and toiletries for his mother, but he choked up and held back tears as he spoke about the ministry buying shoes for him and his mom. 

It is crazy to think that in a parish like St. Tammany, there are people who simply can not afford to buy shoes. It’s also crazy to think about the impact that meeting basic, “real world” needs in the name of Jesus can have on a family and individual. I understand that impact because there was a time my family was on the receiving end of such an impactful gift. Years ago, when my husband and I were at our lowest financial point, we had no money to provide a basic Thanksgiving meal for our kids like we had done every other year. The agony and shame of having our kids carry the burden of our financial crisis was painful. It was at that point that a Christian sister stepped in and gave us a gift card to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving as a family. The gratitude and relief I felt at that moment was so much bigger than just having food and being able to celebrate a holiday. It sent a message to me that people cared, and that God was in my financial struggle with me. 

It is out of this story, that the heart and passion to “pay it forward” through our CARE community outreach was born. I want others that walk through our doors carrying the same financial burdens to know that people care, and Jesus is in it with them. As a ministry, when we get a little, we do a little, but when we get a lot, it is our heart to do A LOT. I am so thankful for you, our supporters, who have allowed us to do  A LOT in Jesus’ name over the past 12 years through our CARE community outreach. No matter the need, whether it be shoes or something greater, the impact your giving has through our CARE ministry can plant powerful seeds of the Gospel. Please pray that as we help these families and individuals that these seeds would take root and they would come to know the Living Water, Jesus, so that they will never be thirsty again. I am so grateful for you. God Bless!

In His Grip,

Abby Shields