Photo courtesy of: Southern Living
When I was in college, I had a roommate named Amanda. Amanda and I were, for lack of a better term, "nerds." Neither of us joined a sorority and it was pretty certain that we'd both be in our pjs writing papers or watching TV by 8 p.m. The year I graduated though, Amanda's world was rocked by the death of her mother. Amanda was only 20.
Death was something I had experienced as a child (unfortunately many relatives and family friends passed away in a close span), but it was the first time I spent days with the person, grieving with her. I stayed with Amanda and watched as neighbor after neighbor, family member after family member, poured into her house carrying casseroles, baked goodies, and frozen meals. The amount of support, food, and love that showed up at her door for weeks was impressive.
Although new to me at the time, this type of community support doesn't just happen. It's built by a group of caring neighbors and friends and based on difficult circumstances like illness, births, and deaths. A neighborhood support network can help in numerous ways, including organizing people to provide meals when needed, and sharing carpools or lawn maintenance. Not only does a caring community network strengthen bonds but also provides the comfort of knowing people will be there when you need them most.
Are you currently part of a community network? What types of things does your community do for others?