...serenity in motion
See a need? Try to fill it.
A bunch of people showed up today to help get firewood in for my mother. There was 8 of us working away together cutting, splitting and stacking. Why? Because my mother needed help and had given assistance to an organization over the years. It was a way that they all paid it forward and back. Someone saw a need and created an organization that helped bring firewood to people who needed it and couldn’t get it.
The food bank is another example of filling a need. The first official food bank was established in 1967 by a man named John van Hengel. His obituary, published by the Washington Post, explains that van Hengel’s original idea came from his observation of a mother forced to provide for ten children after her husband was sentenced to death row. She had no trouble finding food others were willing to waste, but she had nowhere to store it.
Van Hengel set out to create a distribution network capable of storing potentially wasted food for people who needed it. What started out as a single warehousing distribution turned into a nationwide effort that, at the time of van Hengel’s death, was feeding 23 million Americans annually.
Sometimes the need is small, picking up trash on the side of the road for instance. It has a huge impact over time. People used to never consider dropping a wrapper from a hamburger on the ground for instance. The “Adopt a highway” program started in Texas, 1985 because someone was following a truck with trash blowing out of the back. It now spans the globe as private citizens and organizations adopt 2 mile spans to keep clean.
You never know when a simple idea is going to spread and become a catalyst for change. It doesn’t matter if it does, every hour that you donate to make the world a better place; is an hour that makes something better. Consider this holiday season, just donating an hour of your time. I’m extremely grateful to those who showed up yesterday. I know my mother is as well.