Wednesday, February 29, 2012
How Do They Do It?
Back in January, I talked about a large non-profit social service agency that helps to take care of our region's most needy population (See Groceries for Those in Need). At that time, I bought groceries for families in transitional housing. Today I decided to help out another of their consumer segments - teenage mothers.
Teenage mothers (and their children) face so many seemingly insurmountable challenges as they try to manage the basic necessities of their daily lives. It's hard enough for many of them to deal with their own needs, let alone being responsible for infants and small children. Most lack the maturity, the support, and the resources to be successful. It's not my place to pass judgment on their predicament though -- only to help.
Armed with a shopping list provided by my agency contact, I headed to our local Target. I felt like such a novice as I tried to pick out various personal care items and baby supplies. I bought shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, diapers, wipes, lotion, bottles, formula, and baby food. It's been so long since our kids were that age that I could hardly remember what to get. I was also astounded at the cost of these items and can hardly imagine how young mothers make ends meet.
As I delivered the bags of stuff I bought to the agency, I tried to imagine what life must be like for the recipients of my purchases. Do they live in constant worry, wondering how they'll make it through the next week? Can they imagine a world beyond just meeting their basic needs? Is their image of the future mostly colored with fear, or with hope? My life is filled with so many blessings, and such good fortune, that it's impossible for me to truly understand the overwhelming challenges they face. The least I can do is to care, and to help out.