Each one of us as humans has a longing to be connected to one another. It’s part of our human nature to feel connected to people around us. This is a lesson I’m learning through Transition Furniture especially in the last two months. The more I interact with our families, the more I see in them a longing to feel connected. They do not just want only their needs met, they want people to talk to and hang out with. My eyes were opened to this truth in August with one of our shut-in families.
This family came to us from one of our partnering agencies. They needed a stove, refrigerator, and washer/dryer. We got them everything they needed but there was something else they were wanting: they wanted someone to talk to. Every time I visit this family, I spend an hour to an hour and a half with them. They love to tell stories of past experiences and share what is going on with them in their lives. They even tell me what they cook on the stove we gave them and offer me food every time I go there. When I leave their house, they always say, “Come by whenever you want”. This is one of many examples from our families. This is why we are not just a need-based nonprofit but also a relationship-based nonprofit.
We are starting to connect people to our families. This past Christmas we sponsored three different families and it was a huge success. We connected all three of the families to groups that sponsored their Christmas. I know one group is sending Valentine’s goodies home with the kids on Friday. That is one example of how some of our volunteer groups are starting to build relationships with our families.
We believe it’s important to build relationships with our families because it makes them feel appreciated and wanted. A lot of these families don’t have family members close by. Some fled from family members for a new start. It’s important for them to feel that they are welcomed in a city and know they are not alone. Our volunteers know that their time is not wasted, as their own lives are impacted in this building of relationships along with delivering/giving furniture. That is our goal and that is why I know this is only the beginning of connecting people to people. That’s what makes the future so exciting.