Don’t Waste Your Hurricane
Emily Scherer and Aimee Frederick meet up with Zach Lambert, the man responsible for kickstarting Mercy Goods in Richmond, to talk about the origins of their friendships with one another, the ways in which they’ve felt called to help their community, and what it really means to be involved in Mercy Goods. Mercy Goods is a non-profit organization run by Attack Poverty that focuses on teaching important work and life skills to low income, underprivileged members of the Richmond community.
Taking advantage of a less-than-ideal situation
Not long after Zach and his wife April moved to Richmond, Hurricane Harvey hit the Fort Bend community extremely hard. With many people left struggling and even more left feeling uncertain about their futures moving forward, Zach took advantage of the situation to make progress towards his goal of helping the people of Richmond. April, an art teacher at a local school, was seeing students drop out every day due to horrific home struggles caused by the hurricane and by the inequalities present in Richmond. This motivated Zach to put his ideas to the test and start Mercy Goods.
“There’s a little key phrase that just kept ringing in my ears: ‘don’t waste your hurricane’.”
Collaborating with others to reach a common goal
Although the idea had been in his brain for a while, Mercy Goods wasn’t something Zach could start on his own. It required the assistance of friends like Aimee and Emily, organizations like Attack Poverty, and community groups such as local government officials and St. John’s Methodist Church. Only through collaboration and coming together was Mercy Goods able to actually receive the funding, space, and mentorship it needed to become what it is today.
“I’m not trying to make you into a little me, I’m trying to make you into who you’re supposed to be and who you were created to be.”
Following the calling to serve the community
As passionate Christians, Zach and April believe that Mercy Goods is a way that they have been called to serve. Fort Bend is a place that many different types of people call home, but it’s not easy for everyone to live there. Inequality and financial struggles deeply affect members of the community, especially students. When a student is struggling at home, they have trouble achieving in school and in life. One of Zach’s biggest motivations for staying in Richmond and starting Mercy Goods is to teach and mentor underprivileged youth so that they can have practical work and life skills to progress them through life and help them gain future employment.
“The stereotypical saying of ‘the other side of the tracks’, that’s somewhat true in our community.”
Achieving incredible success with Mercy Goods
Mercy Goods started as just a dream, but it has grown into something incredibly successful and positively impactful for the Fort Bend community. Zach is honest in admitting that he wasn’t sure that this was ever going to happen and that he’s proud of how far they’ve come. Today, Mercy Goods is a fantastic mentorship program that teaches students and young adults how to make and remodel items such as furniture, clothing, and accessories. All of the items worked on and made by these individuals are available for purchase both online and at their storefront, with all proceeds going directly into future programming for the community.
“You’re not only buying furniture, you’re buying life change.”