Sunday, June 26, 2011

Asking for money is hard

If you are a friend of my Facebook page, you might have seen my donation request for a friend who lost her home in the Minot flood this week.  (If you'd like to donate, go here.)

One of the things that talking to her made me reflect on was our culture's view on asking for help.  In those first few days after the fire, we needed so much help: time, money, food.  And yet, it was almost impossible for me to ask.  I wanted to believe that I could do this on my own, even though I desperately wanted to reach out to others.  It was ESPECIALLY hard to ask for money.  It even makes me a little uncomfortable now thinking about receiving money.  Thankfully, others asked for me, and we were able to get the help we needed.

I think for a lot of us, being able to stand up and say we can't do this alone or with our own resources is very difficult, in part perhaps because of our pick-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps kind of mentality.  Our culture is very individualistic, which is great in so many ways.  However, we sometimes forget about the needs of others - or maybe not forget but sometimes don't look out enough to see the needs of others.  I can tell you that having to do ask for help is very humbling.  I was amazed by what our community, my friends' communities, strangers were willing to do for me once we were able to say we needed help.

I feel like I'm rambling.  I probably am.  I guess my point is that it's really hard to ask for help, even in our time of need.  Today, my friend needs help.  And I'm willing to ask for help for her.  Their family does not have flood insurance.  She has three small children.  And I know that anything you can give to them will be used to help them rebuild their lives, lives that, unfortunately, will never be the same.  One of the things I vowed as others helped us is that we would continue to pay it forward.  It's why we're starting the non-profit.  Helping Jessica is just one more way for me to continue to give (and allow others to give) in thanks for all of those who gave to us.

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