Follow our story from the start! - click "newer posts" at the end of each page

9.06.2011

Community Self Interest

I believe giving back to your community should be the obligation of every citizen if we hope to keep our democracy alive. Political structure, environment, historical restoration, arts are all legitimate choices - just roll up your sleeves and help out a bit. It gives us collective ownership and participating helps us to understand better what it takes to make a community.

Last week, I was invited to a meeting of the after school program that Kit and Doc go to help them renew their funding. This is a group that supplies afternoon and morning care for 130 children a day. They supply breakfasts for those who's families are not well off, as well as reduced rates. They help with homework, work with difficult needs children, and foster better social engagement between children who have a tough time negotiating friendships. I could go on about them (like mention the awesome summer program) but you get the idea. A one of a kind organization and the only one in town. A worthy new project for me to help with, thinks I, moreso because 2 of our boy are and will continue to participate there for years to come.

So, tonight I left Tish in charge of the brood and zoomed over to their office. I didn't expect a lot of people to be there, there never are, but there was only one. That's right, not counting the 2 program directors, only 1 other person came. That really surprised me, and I'm not easily shocked by community apathy. The thing is, if this program dies, the parents of 130 kids will be scrambling to find somewhere for their children to go when they have to get to work and can't get home early enough after school.

If these people have any sense of self preservation, here is the place they should be. I can understand if you don't want to work on closing the local dump or renovating historic buildings or revitalizing downtown. But when your small children are going to be arriving home 2 hours before you get out of work, you got a problem.

This may be most pathetic showing I've seen in 20 years. I can only hope they didn't send out enough invites or forgot to put the right date on it. Otherwise, our first job is zapping parents with 10,000 volts just to get them to wake up.