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A Letter of Thanks

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We received this wonderful letter of thanks in late March, 2015:


To Whom it May Concern,

There are moments in your life that you will always look back on as bittersweet. The times when, in the midst of great trial, great blessing is made evident. The day that I met Tom Umstead is one of those moments. I had known of Mr. Tom within the community of our church, The Church of the Apostles, in Atlanta, Georgia. It is hard to miss him. He is constantly present but rarely standing still. From serving pizza and carrot sticks to the kids’ table on a Wednesday night, to taking communion around the congregation to those participants unable to walk to the front of the sanctuary, Tom Umstead is a brilliant example of service.

In March of 2009 our family welcomed our second son, John, into the world. It was quite and affair. John was diagnosed with spina bifida in utero and upon his birth he was immediately transferred to Scottish Rite for neurosurgery. Over the next two weeks, my husband and I made the trip daily to be with him in the NICU. It was a very challenging time for us. On this particular day my heart was quite low as it was determined that John would need immediate surgery to place a shunt in his brain, a procedure and development we were praying we would not need. As we anxiously waited for him to return from surgery I looked down the hall and saw the kind smile of Mr. Tom walking towards us. Of course he had food and flowers in hand, but it was his hug and his presence that brought peace and comfort.

That day was the first of many in which Mr. Tom has been a ray of light to us on days we faced with uncertainty and often fear. With every surgery, hospital stay, MRI or just routine checkup, Mr. Tom has found us and brought joy to difficult moments. Mr. Tom has a way of making you feel truly known and loved with very few words. Our children run to him whenever they see him. Yet, we are one of hundreds, if not thousands, who are seen and cared for by this man of humble grace.

Because of Tom’s heart to serve purely out of his love of people and his Lord, it is not recognition that is sought. However, the amazing fruit of his labor is evident to all and the stewardship he shows with the use of the contributions he receives is remarkable. Tom is several years my senior, yet I aspire to use the energy and moments of my live to love and serve others as I have seen in my dear friend Mr. Tom.

Mr. Tom’s Heart is the perfect name for the mission of Tom Umstead’s work. And, I sincerely pray that every resource possible would be made available to see this important effort continue.


Stephanie Harvey


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