The Accessible House
I think this is not a unique story, not right now. It begins…
“Family is behind on mortgage due to layoffs and crap economy. One member of family is chronically ill, etc. Bank begins to foreclose. Panic ensues. Very nice family possibly loses home and everything and is fucked, and still also has to deal with ill member who still needs care and help and resources.”

It’s happening everywhere. It is really easy to feel bad for people, leave it at that, and and refocus on your own survival, because you can’t help everyone. And we’re all scared of drowning right now. I know so many families who are NOT getting income because people are out of work. My own family, for one.

So the link above, this is just one family. Out of thousands. I’m using them really to illustrate a point more than I am saying “Hey please go donate.” and my point is this.

If you know someone, anyone who is laid off or struggling right now, maybe it’d be nice to figure out how you could help them. It doesn’t necessarily have to cost you money, though it probably will cost you time and energy. I was thinking of stuff that I could see doing that would work in my own life without causing a lot of difficulty for our own conservation of resources.

Invite them over for dinner and make soup. Soup is cheap.

Offer to drive their kids to school when you take yours in, to help them save on gas, if it’s on your way.

Buy ’em a bag of staples like milk and bread and eggs and cheese when you’re at the market, if you have a little extra cash.

Babysit for free so they can go to a job interview or work on their resume or just have a night off from stress and care.

Lend someone an outfit to interview in if they can’t afford something suitable and you happen to have one in their size.

Foster their cat or dog if they are losing their home, so they can couchsurf for a few weeks and not have to mourn the loss of a beloved pet.

I dunno, it’s a long list. Kind of “Whatever helps.” if you know what I mean. I think we should all be asking ourselves “Ok, so, what can I do?” We’re all in this together, in our little houses where we live behind fences, connected only by the internets. Maybe right now is a good time to make some connections, is all I am saying. Because I think if we don’t all pull together, a lot of really good folks are going to get pulled under. Have already been pulled under. And I hate that.

Don’t give to the length that you get pulled under too. I mean, the first rule of oxygen mask is, put yours on first. But once it’s on and you’re stable, maybe there’s just enough room to make all the difference to someone else’s survival right now. Or just a little difference. It adds up.

So I’m curious. DO you know someone who needs a hand? What could you do?


About Maia Rainwood

Owner and Maker at Maia Rainwood Design. Wearable art for wise women, birth keepers, witches, and world-builders.
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8 Responses to

  1. Wendy says:

    It looks like I’m going to actually be getting a job in this crummy environment, and a pleasant one at that. Which will really help the fact that the husband’s work situation is dismal and has been since the first of the year. I think I’ll be able to give more pretty soon and start paying into the karmic bank once more.

    My luck really started to turn around a couple of months ago when I had 6 dollar bills and 11 dollars in quarters to go grocery shopping with and spent some of it making dinner for a new mom at my church. I hope that was the worst/best day of this crunch, though.

  2. eightfoldrabbit says:

    Oh I’m so happy for you with the new job, congratulations Wendy! 😀 That’s fantastic. I think that in times like this, when we’re all strapped, is when we have to rethink the concept of “giving”. It is easy to write a check. It’s hard to stretch $17 into groceries for a family and dinner for a new mom, ya know? But, huge.

  3. Mouse says:

    I’m scared sh*tless right now of losing our rental house b/c of money but I’m still gathering up things for the charity donation truck. I’m just waiting and hoping that my husband’s job picks up again because we’ve got bills piling up and he’s waiting to get paid for jobs he finished. *sigh*
    I’m still hoping that Obama can pull us out of this 8+ year mess but there is so much damned opposition to everything he says or does that I’m starting to wonder if some folks WANT to be saved or if they’d rather go into the toilet just to prove a point.

  4. eightfoldrabbit says:

    I am sending you all good thoughts, Mouse, that things work out with the money and job front. It’s so scary to consider, I know. *hug*

    sadly, I think the latter is closer to true.

  5. BellaKarma says:

    Love your ideas!

    Sometimes people can act freaky when they are given something out of the goodness of someone’s heart (they see it as pity or charity, as if charity is a bad thing).

    Here’s another suggestion, if you don’t mind me sharing: since a lot of us are buying only the staples at the grocery store, and skipping on the sweets — how ’bout bake a cake/cupcakes for someone? You can get cake mix + frosting for about $3 total (look for sales or stores like Big Lots/99Cent Store – both have brand names). You can even split the dessert between you and your friend-in-need.

  6. Tammy says:

    Thanks for bringing this up. Our neighbors are both without jobs. She’s been home for the last 18 years or so with the kids and he was just laid off the beginning of February. I’ve thought about the meals and know we can do that. I just wish I could do more. I have actually considered having them over every week or so. Would that be too much?

  7. Ragnar says:

    I love the stories about property auctions during the depression, the ones where the farmer’s neighbors all show up to the auction with pitchforks and bid $1 for the farm while intimidating all the speculators who showed up to profit with the unspoken threat of just what a pitchfork can do.

    Inviting people over for dinner is great, it’s just not that much more expensive to serve 8 people instead of 6. Add more beans and lentils.

  8. eightfoldrabbit says:

    Bella, we do a lot of scratch baking (daughter is a pastry chef in training, so mixes are verboten) and sharing with our neighbors, it’s a great way to just get to know people even during flush times.

    Tammy, someone made a great point about “charity” and people’s pride that I hadn’t considered. I do think it’s very important to couch things in a way that allows folks to keep their pride in very hard times. I bet if you could find a way to invite them in a more neighborhood building context, just to be neighborly, the result would be just as helpful. Maybe ask them to bring something cheap and easy so they feel like they’re contributing. A package of rolls or one of those 99 cent loaves of french bread from the market, etc. Ya know?

    Ragnar, totally! And a double batch of pagan soccer mom’s rolls and you’re SET. Beans and rice stretch to feed multitudes. ;-D

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