I had something happened to me a few weeks ago, and I thought it was worthy of a blog post. For the most part, I am an independent person that loves to offer help when I see a need, most people could probably say the same thing. On the other hand, I am not good at all about asking for help. In my eyes, if something needs to be done, I find a way to make it happen. I take pride in setting goals and reaching them, on my own accord. But, quite often, life gets in the way, and my lack of money, time, skill, or interest slows my progression or even brings a project to a screeching halt. This is where my blog post gets interesting.
I recently joined a local “buy nothing” page on Facebook. This page encourages those with a need to ask the other page members for possible assistance. This page does not allow any product or service to be paid for, or any exchange of money to occur. For example, a community member may find that they have a perfectly good pair of size 4 soccer cleats to gift someone after cleaning out a closet. They post a picture of the cleats and ask if anyone is interested. There are usually several people interested on any given object. One person is chosen to receive the item, and a pick up/drop off is determined. It’s a win-win situation. The cleats are out of the closet, and they will now be used again by someone that needs them. I have been amazed at the generosity on this page, time and time again. From child sized snow pants to Mason Jars, a robot floor vacuum to jewelry that isn’t worn any longer, items are passed around and people are always happy to help. This community of people (mostly strangers)￼￼￼￼ offer what they have to those in need be it big or small. I’m always smiling after I visit this page to see what is being given away each day.
Finally the best part! For over five years, I have been knitting hats and donating them to various organizations. I taught myself how to loom knit, and I find it ridiculously relaxing to sit down and create a hat, start to finish, in under 90 minutes. I also find great joy in providing these hats to those who otherwise would go without. It’s an easy way for me to use what I have (time and ability) to help others.￼￼￼ The most difficult aspect is how quickly I run out of yarn. Once I began giving away all my creations, I let my friends know that I was accepting yarn donations. Even with their generosity, I often ran out of yarn quickly. Hesitantly, I decided to ask for yarn donations on my new favorite page. I explained my situation and for what the yarn would be used. Within an hour, I had my first response. I was ecstatic! In a few days I would find myself driving around the township collecting GARBAGE BAGS full of yarn. My heart was ready to explode! I was so completely blown away that so many people were willing to help me and my mission to knit warm hats for those who needed them. I’ve always said that the people who gave me yarn are the true superstars – I couldn’t knit without them. And here’s the thing – none of these kind souls could’ve helped me -how would they have even known I had a need- unless I asked. Please read that again. I had to ask. I was loaded up with yarn and encouragement, simply because I put my need out there. I asked for help. It didn’t come naturally, I felt silly doing it, but I did it! And holy smokes, my community blessed my socks off. Most importantly, I will now be able to make hundreds of hats and provide the basic need of warmth to so many people. In my excitement, I have knitted 27 hats in 2 weeks since receiving the yarn.
Please do me a favor. Practice asking for help. By all means, continue offering help too. But if there’s a need in your life, big or small, do yourself a favor and ask for help. I created a small tray of yarn scraps to use as a centerpiece in the room where I knit. These colorful balls of yarn remind me that help is available, if only we ask for it. Being a helper is amazing and a blessing, be sure to give others a chance to occasionally fill that role. We need each other, and a few garbage bags of yarn reminded me of that truth.￼￼￼￼￼￼ 🙂🧶👏🏻