“It’s easy to be generous when you know your own needs are going to be taken care of.”
So said a resident of Family Scholar House to FSH Chief Possibility Officer Cathe Dysktra a few years ago. The resident, knowing that the FSH Adopt-A-Family program would be taking care of her children for Christmas, scrimped and saved a meager financial surplus–and then used it to purchase a gift for a child whose name hung on a local Salvation Army Angel Tree.
In other words, one in great need gave out of what little she had so that someone else in need–someone perhaps not so supported and encouraged–might receive a bit of blessing, too.
It’s just another example of how we work around here–how we live and act as friends and employees and residents and participants of Family Scholar House. We know that not a one of us is here–at this moment, in this place, at this time–without our various cheering sections.
For each of us there are family members, friends, teachers, counselors, coworkers and employers who helped us become who we are, and the least we can do is offer back to the world a little of what we have received from it.
This isn’t always the most popular way to operate. We know this. But still, we believe in it.
Besides, we’ve seen the way it all circles out in the end–and beyond. How a kindness extended to one gets paid forward. How a seemingly insignificant moment of connection turns life-changing. How reaching out to one another, hands open, offering to help along this leg of the journey, becomes the catalyst for positive, systemic change.
Some folks would say we’re trying to boil the ocean–and perhaps we are, but big change requires big effort. The cycle of poverty may not get broken tomorrow, but it will one day–we believe this, and so we keep at it, learning, along the way, that often those we seek to help teach us more than we ever thought possible.