Maximum Impact
September 1, 2015

Thankful To Be Growing

I am so computer illiterate, I had to come home, and in the privacy of my rented kingdom, think tank, and research blogs.

As I read about blogs I thought: what a wonderful opportunity for a person who wants to be a volunteer, in perhaps the only way the volunteer may feel the capacity to use their talent, physical strength, physical health, mental health, time, age, finances, and education to the best of their ability. And isn’t that just ONE of reasons I admire Growing Together so very much?

Growing Together gathers many different cultures, races, backgrounds, and age’s. It also offers opportunity to join hands to aid others in the act of “GROWING TOGETHER’ for positive impact and change, not just being stagnate and simply growing old hoping for change, hoping for a better world.

For the sake of my health, for the sake of my age, for the sake of the three children I have chosen to adopt, and for the sake of my finances, I must choose carefully and wisely about how I spend my time. Not just my free time (and what is free time, anyway, I mention the three children? lol). I must choose child-friendly actions. I must choose actions that teach and stimulate a child, not exclude the children.

To raise a child into a moral, responsible and productive adult, begins at birth with the caregiver walking many miles with infant in arms, holding the child’s hand, the child walking free from the holding of hands, then hands of parent and child reaffirming the hand grip for the sake of society, and reaching forth to other human beings to hold hands….in other words, wow, “GROWING TOGETHER.”

A single leaf does not give shade, but a tree does. I get to participate at the very root of the problems our society endures at the low-income, and low education level I live in every day; I have found the privilege of being part of the solution. I have had the privilege to help found a TRAFFIC COMMITTEE to research, define, explore solutions and then to set in action goals for the traffic challenges that our neighbors struggle each day with. I have had the privilege to host “NEIGHBORHOOD CIRCLES. It is really so simple. We simply commit to host three dinners for 6 to 8 people in our neighborhood. At the first dinner, we get to know a little about each other, at the second dinner, we talk of issues concerning us and the challenges of those issues, at the third dinner, we set a plan of action to either resolve the problem, or to minimize the challenge.

I have had the privilege to participate in the “COMMUNITY CLEAN UP” The explanation is in the name itself. After groups of adults and children working side by side picking up trash, there is a pancake breakfast and prizes to win for the most unusual trash and such. My latest adventure is helping found a resident association for our apartment complex, and find solutions for the challenges we live in with the crime, the fear, and the ignorance. We are finding ways to communicate freely with our management team, and open communication between “GROWING TOGETHER” and management, so that we may embrace all GROWING TOGETHER has to offer, all that life has to offer us.

And in all of this, I am wondering how not being a part of GROWING TOGETHER is working for you? Hummm…something you might want to think about.

Ethel Marie Barry St. John

Resident, Eugene Field Neighborhood

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