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Family Connection / COTS

2008-06-26 22:27:53.085593+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Interesting. We just got back from a "please come volunteer for us" session with "The Family Connection", a program of COTS, the organization that runs the local homeless shelters. The idea of this particular program is providing support from five or so regular folks that a person in transition from temporary shelter to normal life can call upon for support, from trying to figure out how to approach potential landlords to dealing with kid logistics. We're not going to be able to make the next training session, but given that this is roughly what we've ended up doing for a few folks recently, albeit without the other 4 people and the support of those who've seen the process happen before, it seems like a reasonable place for us to put in a few hours a month trying to make a difference in our community.

[ related topics: Sociology Community ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-26 23:33:44.572665+00 by: m [edit history]

I want to applaud and congratulate you for your volunteering. My wife and I have been doing similar work for quite some time now.

Sometimes it is difficult to know where to start with some of the mentally, socially, physically and fiscally impoverished. Sometimes the empathetic pain of watching their struggles is more than one can bear. Sometimes continuing losses and degradation can lead to a despair. But sometimes a life can be changed. It may be just a little thing that provides the cascade into improvement, though those are unfortunately rare. Sometimes it is a longer growth process which takes an investment of time, and more importantly of self. Sometimes it is just helping to provide a meal or a kind, supporting word.

I believe that to be a complete person, one must live a more or less Platonic life. With time devoted to all of the things that make us human. Physical labor, creative work, experiencing the arts, socialization. And so much more, not the least of which is returning something to the community from which we come. It is too easy to just write a check and think we have fulfilled our obligations. It takes courage and fortitude to provide direct hands on charitable contributions. There are benefits of spirit and mind commensurate with the efforts made. What those advantages are, I leave to the reader to work out. For me, one amongst many, was the reduction of a subtle way of whining that I truly hate myself for, but never seem to see until after the fact.

I salute you!