My Husband was in need of going to the hospital on Sunday afternoon, calling for help from the bathroom. My two children 2 and under up from a nap and screaming. I ran between all three trying to figure out how to help them. Panic sets in when you're a mom in need, and tears start to flow. Asking for help isn't so hard when you are really in need, but why does it take a crisis to get us there?
In my own situation, a neighbor answered their phone after my making a series of phone calls and I was able to drop both kids off with them. Another previous neighbor answered their phone and happened to be driving by and so she alerted her husband to come over immediately and drive with us to the hospital, and help me get Dave the help he needed, PLUS wait with me keeping me company and keeping me calm.
I checked in with my friends taking care of my children and another neighbor has pitched in to take my kids to the playground, feed them dinner and offer to get them ready for and put them to bed. Another friend calls and lets me know that she and 2 other families are available to help and are praying for us. I'm totally freed up to care for Dave, let my neighbor go home, and call my pastor to let him know what's going on. My family is put on our church's prayer chain, and friends call to check in. Later one of these friends arranges meals for our family and over the next couple of days, dinners stream in from people in Acadia Park and our church.
This crazy storm that hit our family has reached a joyful calm. My husband heals. My kids, though they get a little sick, heal quickly. The panic and exhaustion that could have been so hard is suddenly nonexistant. My SOS call for help has been met with immediate response and the care and concern is not only immediate, but continues over several days of caring visits and phone calls, dinners and support. This website helps organize meals for my family for the entire week.
Now, that's what I call community. And wow, I am ever grateful!
I'm writing this because I would love to help anyone living in this community have a similar experience. It's my experience and observation that there are lots of people who probably could use help in one way or another, and an equal if not many more people who would GLADLY offer to help out in some way or another.
The key, I think, is connection and trust, and willingness to ask for help. And a system in place for that to happen. Sure, there is an emergency hotline when real crisis hits hard, but what about exhaustion of a new mom who's husband is in the middle of finals and feels stuck at home and is struggling? What about a new family who just came from across the world and doesn't know a soul and doesn't have much furniture? What about an unexpected accident that leaves a parent on their back and unable to care for their small children much less cook meals?
Do any of these situations hit home? Are any of these situations things that a couple weeks of meals brought to your door, or visits from neighbors to see how you are doing, or an offer to babysit, or help with dishes would ease the crisis?
I wonder if there are a group of people in Acadia Park who would be willing to think through how to best care for the needs of the community in times of crisis and need? I wonder if there are people with organizational skills, cooking skills, language skills and connecting skills that would help make help for people in crisis immediate and natural. I have some of these skill sets, but being a a sahm, a Community Assistant and mom of 2 kids two and under limits my ability to offer consistent help, but I'd imagine there are LOTS of people who might be willing to be part of a team that could do something like this.
If you would be interested in being part of a group that would be a "care" group or a resource group for people who might need a little help in our own community, let me know.