Not all help has to be ‘extreme’Written by Heather Miller | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It is fabulous that so many people turned out to help a Toledo firefighter and his wife, a minister, who adopted five of their children from Haiti and three from Toledo and raise three biological children, as well. My question is this: Why did it take a national television show coming to the city to get 4,000 members of the community to come out and assist a family in need? And where are those volunteers now that the cameras and the hunky design team are gone?
It should not have been necessary for Ty Pennington and the gang to rally the troops here in Toledo. Look around. There are lots of people in need. True, we can’t build everyone a new home, but why not lend a helping hand every once in a while? It doesn’t have to be much and doesn’t have to cost a dime. It could be something as simple as bringing your neighbor’s garbage can in from the curb before it rolls into the street or feeding an elderly neighbor’s pet.
I learned how much I needed a helping hand last year. It was a week after my son was born. I had only been home from the hospital a few days. Naturally, I was hormonal, in tremendous pain, exhausted from lack of sleep and had no clue what to do with a 5-pound newborn who only wanted to eat when I wanted to sleep. My husband was at work, and I was on the couch in tears when my doorbell rang.
I answered the door, and there stood my neighbor, Jamie, armed with her vacuum and some cleaning supplies. She spent about an hour washing my family’s dishes and cleaning the floors of my home. Meanwhile, I took a much-needed nap to recharge my batteries.
Those mere 60 minutes Jamie spent in my kitchen made all the difference in the world to me.
I’ve worked in Toledo for nearly five years, and I tend to see the same movers and shakers all the time. It is always the same people heading up nonprofit committees and leading community events. If I didn’t know any better, I would be tempted to think only a handful of people live in Lucas County, because that’s about how many people seem to care enough about the community to do something for it.
What made last week so different? Was it the glare of the spotlight, the urge for 10 seconds of fame? The bottom line is that lending a hand does not have to be “extreme.” A little bit of help can go a long way.
Heather Miller is a reporter at FOXToledo.