Wondering what this "helping people help each other" thing actually looks like? Here are a couple of case studies that might help flesh things out...
Case Study #1 - This past summer we learned of a young woman I'll call "Lucy." She's a single mom, with two kids in a small trailer home. Her bathroom floor is beginning to buckle - there's a slow leak somewhere in the wall behind the sink. She works hard for a local non-profit, but she doesn't make much money. She doesn't have family in town; she can't afford a professional plumber or carpenter.
What's someone like Lucy supposed to do? This is why we exist. Within a few hours, Imagine Missoula was able to locate two volunteers with home repair skills. By the end of the week - and a mere forty dollars in materials - Lucy's floor was fixed, everyone involved went away encouraged.
Case Study #2 - Here's another example. A few weeks ago we met "Janine." Imagine how she felt when she told her boyfriend she was pregnant and he packed up and left her. Imagine how she felt when she discovered that she wasn't just pregnant, but was carrying twins! Imagine how she felt when she moved to Missoula because that was the only place she had a friend (just one!). Imagine how she felt after her delivery: exhausted, happy, yet incredibly alone and unsure of what to do next.
By partnering with a local church, Imagine Missoula is helping to provide meals for Janine and her two beautiful babies. We're also working to find her a used dresser and basic household supplies. A local photographer has volunteered to shoot free portraits of her with her children. One of our volunteers has offered to stop by regularly just to see if she can run errands for her.
In all of this Janine is not merely getting the opportunity to experience community - these are the things friends do for one another! - she's also getting the invitation to become a contributer to the community, to give back by helping others down the road. And she is incredibly excited at that prospect.
Sound interesting? Why not learn how you can get involved...