I've never written much about our community and how its supports its own. While we live it an embrace it daily at home, I want to write it down to remember it and to share with the kids when their older to remind them the importance of being there and supporting others. I've seen this in action in our community several times over the last 5.5 years we've lived here.
Recently, our family participated in a Beneft Brunch that has had me thinking about it more and more. There is a gentelman in our community who is in his 50s and works part time at a processing plant in our town. About a year ago he was very ill and spent over a month in the hospital. A friend of ours from church was close friends with him; she and her husband stepped into help. They found that the place he was living was no longer inhabitable and he needed a new place to live and a lot of things to fill the place. Back in the late winter or early spring they got him set up with a new apartment in town and took donations of needed items and monetary too. We supported him then of course, and we were happy to see him able to move into a new home once he was relaesd to live on his own again.
Months later, the medical bills became a lot of him and so the party and conference center in town used one of their Sunday Brunch meals as a fundraiser for him. My family of 5, plus my mom attended with us, and it was a great experience. He was there at the door greating and thanking everyone for their support. Elinore even went right to him and let him old her, which is rare for her! We supported the raffle, and won a few things too. (The boys love the witch, and we have new padding for the high chair for the new baby now too!)
A week later the kids and I ran into him at the bank in town, and he thanks us again for being there and talked to the kids. He just had a great spirit about him and was certainly showing his appreciation. It was a wonderful thing, and something I'm glad we could be a part of and our kids too. The event raised about $3,800 to help pay for his medical bills, which is awesome!
This whole experience with the bunch had be thinking about other things in our community. I try as best I can to help regularly serve the SOUP dinners at our church. They are twice a month and are a open to anyone free meal no questions asked. Keith has attended occasionally with me and the kids take turns participating too. When Elinore was younger it was commong for her to be on my back in the carrier hanging out while we served others. Now she stays home with Daddy more often, but the boys take turns coming and helping; I want them to experience service to others.
Later this month the community is also holding a 5K. This is the second 5K in two years held at our local high school. Each year it has been to support a student in our school system fighting a disease. The boys ran in the first Miles for Madison Fun Run early last year. This year, we are registered as a family to walk the 5K together.
A group in our church with the help of our local Lion's club, which Keith is a member of, also provides 'Baskets of Hope' at Christmast and sometimes Easter to families and individuals who are in need for the holidays. As a Lion, Keith helps deliever those baskets out into the community.
There are so many more examples of the love and support in our community, but these are on my mind as something to capture about our current community and family commitment to helping. For as many as we particpate in, we miss just as many. It feels wonderful to be able to tell our kids that there is a community of support around us showing their love for the Lord and people.