One of the great things about writing Bitter and Sweet has been the people I have met and the stories I have heard. There are many, many people in the world that are trying to do good things with thier lives and resources. Today Brigitte and I had the opportunity to meet some neat people… again.
There is a group called Rural Outreach Center. Their tag line reads: “Assist- Elevate- Empower.” They have some property but no building yet. There has already been five years invested in doing hard-core research and for the last four months they have been helping people on borrowed space.
The thought process is to give people in country settings a one-stop place to help them in a holistic manner. The man said “How would it be if the first thing you heard when you walked in a door someplace was that someone cared about you?” They have spent months interviewing people and just listening to their stories. They have come up with a comprehensive list of services they are hoping to develop. Finding jobs, raising the level of income, financial budgeting and saving, marriage and individual counseling and support, medical help, literacy programs, etc..
They talked about how many people they have met that just don’t meet the stereotypes that I hear people describe all the time. People DO want to work. They DO want to do the right thing. They are NOT sucking off the system. I hear so much prejudice and assumptions sometimes, that it makes my heart sad.
It’s easy to say “Get a job.” It’s not so easy to tell them how to actually get downtown without taking several buses. And what do they do with their children while they are gone? The scenarios go on and on. Answers are not so simple.
I’m not sure how we are going to be able to help, but both Brigitte and I want to help in whatever we can. It doesn’t fit in exactly with our “mission” with grief group and patient advocacy education. But it does fit in with where our hearts are at- treating people with dignity and respect. Helping people outside of yourself when you are able to.
So thanks to those people who are working tirelessly to make this happen. Thanks for the inspiration. The needs are many and the possibilities are endless for ways people can help. If you are interested, please let me know and I will get you in touch with them. To quote from Bitter and Sweet, “THERE IS MUCH GOOD IN THE WORLD, MUCH, MUCH, MUCH.”