Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 6: S.O.S Awareness

Today is day 6 of my I:

Did a bit of crocheting (Yes, it's summer and I'm crocheting a blanket). I've been working on it the last 3 years or so. I am a novice to crocheting, I only know about 3 stitches, but it's a calming thing to do. I started this particular blanket when my uncle (who has since passed) was ill in the hospital. I initially started it for him, as I used to take turns sitting with him in the hospital. It kept me busy and he always had blankets, seemed like a cathartic and productive thing to do. Somewhere between then and now I fell off of it. Today, of all things I decided to start my morning with adding a bit more to it. The simplest things can sometimes be the very ones we should pick back up. So, I am not sure if I'll finish it in these 30 days, but I am definitely going to try.

I also went to meet the director and check out the new place I'll be volunteering in the coming weeks. I mentioned previously that as I was "searching for more" I came across another volunteer opportunity in addition to serving at the Food Bank. This particular organization helps those in need acquire food, clothing, job services, or anything that would help someone get back on their feet. After touring the facility and speaking with the director, I snagged a position as the Intake Receptionist. The Intake Receptionist greets the clients that come in, helps refer them to services they need, and even assists with getting food for their families. I'm just a teacher, off for summer break, looking to help. I was told that 60% of those that have helped in their reception area have been teachers.

I didn't find this surprising because teachers, in fact, are people-oriented by nature.
We care about others and always want to help our students. So, I can see how those same attributes can be channeled into other things. While I was there, I saw various people enter, looking for assistance. The interesting thing is they varied in needs and nature. As much as we don't admit it, I think many of us assume we can recognize someone in need (I have thought this many a time myself). We have some sort of criteria in our heads that we think are characteristics of someone who would give an SOS signal of distress. I would even say this could be borderline to judgement. Judging a book by its cover, per say.

As I noticed those entering, I was told one of the organization's main goals was to treat their clients with dignity and respect regardless of race, culture, affiliations, etc. The director told me that she has noticed in their food delivery services many people who reject help because of the embarrassment. I was told about a young man who needed food for months, drove to the facility several times, but each time he couldn't make himself get out and walk in. He couldn't brace the fact that he needed this help. He couldn't send out his own SOS signal. Finally, he decided to come get the help he needed and was able to get back on his feet.

Hearing this story made me realize how much it's necessary to have an awareness of the simple fact that everyone needs help. Everyone from time to time will flare their SOS signal and need someone to step in and assist. You can't know based on how someone looks or what you think you know about their life. It's not always a discernible sign. For this reason, I decided a few things...

I can ALWAYS be helpful!

You never know. You never know what someone is dealing with, what they need, how even the smallest thing can make the biggest difference. So, I CAN ALWAYS HELP. Wherever, whenever, in whichever capacity. I can't imagine how humbling and hard it is to have to go where you once thought you never would. Many people find themselves in this very predicament daily. No one ever expects these things, they just happen. Thank God there are those who see the needs and meet the needs. I was told today, "we deal with issues that not many people think about." There are many simple things most of us take for granted that others are fighting to have. Now, this doesn't mean that our own problems aren't problems too. But, while the grass is not always greener, for some, it's non-existent. Help, as with air is always readily available. Question is how much can be given away? If we thought of being helpful as necessary as needing to what a concept!

The insignificant is significant!

Yes, I'm an English teacher. I know my prefixes. I know that -in placed in front of a word means "not." However, today I realized that the things we think are "not" significant, actually are. As the Intake Receptionist, I'll greet the clients, take their IDs, help them make a grocery list from the choice pantry, connect them to other services they need. Seems like secretarial tasks I'll complete each week. Nonetheless, these tasks are important and will help someone get from point A to point B. No matter what we find that can be "insignificant," it's important. Picking up a piece of trash, returning a grocery cart, smiling at someone, etc. It's not small. It's one thing that can have a huge impact. Sounds cliche, sounds like stuff we already can conclude. But, today it was apparent how much we "know" that we don't tap into. I intend to tap into what I know and to make all that is insignificant, SIGNIFICANT!

Keep my happy!

Gosh, this is hard. From day-to-day, this can be a struggle even if you consider yourself a generally happy person. Why, because as I said previously, the world 10 times out of 10 will go loopdy loo and take you down with it. One of my weaker areas to be honest. I'm a worry wort by day, and a stressed out gal by night in most cases. I've grown a bit over the years, but it's still something I am determined to master. Daily awareness of this has been a good help to me. This 30before30 challenge has also been a good jolt for it, and of course God. I cannot even pretend that I have the capability to keep my happy on my own. It's a daily, "God, you're going to have to help me with this..." prayer. But, one day it won't be a challenge. One day this is will a consistent natural part of me. Whoo! How positive, but back to reality. Until then, the meantime is the real part of it all. I think we all struggle with "the meantime." That's that seemingly long period of time between your current cloud to your happy sunshine. The sunshine will come, but it's the meantime that needs the true maintenance. So, in the meantime I'll continue my daily, "God, help me with..." "Thank You for helping me with..." "I know that You are working with me on..." and after those prayers when you still feel a bit not so peppy-you show it anyway. Today was an ok day. I felt pretty productive, but I wasn't bouncing off the ceiling happy. But, when I came into contact with others today I kept my happy. That is a chain reaction. Others need that, and their need increases your willingness to keep and show your happy. Don't worry, be happy! (I had to sing it, just had to).

Number 1 thought today:
We all have S.O.S distress moments, they're easy to recognize...the hard part is recognizing how to respond and what you should do in those moments. You can ask for help, you can be the helper, or you can keep your happy in the meantime.

Another day in the books. "30before30"

*Surrounding myself with good people/with good goals/for good causes
*Doing the hard stuff because the hard stuff is the good stuff
*Dotting my i's and crossing ALL of my t's
*Going from "Meh" to "YEAH!!"
*Staying sane while the world goes crazy
*Being more aware and helping others, so I can help myself!


  1. Amen to all you have written above!
    I know I am new to your blog, but I love everything you have shared so far and will continue to read. We ALL struggle. We ALL have hardship in so many different ways. Being a Christian in the world we live in today can be so hard. But, like you, I am asking for God's help each and every day, continually lifting life's issues up to Him just so I can do another day.

    Love what you are doing to help others. So rewarding and an amazing thing you can do to make a difference in a world that can be so brutal.

    Blessings, LaToya!

    1. Thanks Niki! Your comments have been a blessing to me as well :) Thanks for being so transparent in your thoughts! Stay in touch!