Friday, January 2, 2009

Community. . .

Holiday seasons are always an interesting time of the year, for me, especially the one that just ended.

I feel like it's been kind of thrown in my face that community is lacking. I've always been driven to be a part of as many groups as I can, mostly because it is a fast way to meet people which is important to me as I'm so busy and have moved a lot, so feeling 'connected' to where and who I am is very important to me. It led to me joining a single mom's group, knitting groups, MS groups, and started my own local Hip Mama group, graphic designer groups and I'm sure plenty more in the past that at this point I don't remember. Being the organizer of a group though, I'm starting to see more and more of a need for a better community organizing seems most are either too digital and don't lead to much of the real 'human' connection that is so important especially during hard times, OR the groups are so based on who you know that they are intimidating to newcomers.

Anyway, my measure of the holiday season and my expectations as to what would make it a 'successful' season were blown out of the water after I sent out my pretty generic 'Happy Holidays' email to one of the groups I manage. In the message I asked that anyone who might be having trouble because of the snow storms out here in Seattle should let the group know so we can work something out.

I got a phone call within minutes it seemed, of an urgent medication related situation that was definitely a 'real' problem that needed someone with the heart of an angel plus 4-wheel drive to solve.

I felt honored to be able to call upon the group of people, of which there are over 220, that I'm grateful to have the honor of organizing to see if anyone was both willing and able to help with the situation.

I was amazed at how fast I was getting phone calls and eventually a person who saved the day by picking up the needed medicine and transported it to the person in need.

My plans for 'fulfillment' over the holidays had been based more around the time I'd dedicated to helping with a 'Family Promise' program that consists of a kind of moving shelter for homeless families, I dedicated myself to three times on three different dates Christmas week to help out there. I found that while it was fulfilling to be able to help with that organized program, my real joy was when the almost out of nowhere emergency was solved after our group worked together to make it happen.

It will be a great year...

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