Friday, September 27, 2013

A Full-Circle Connection

“…The service you provided to daddy during the recovery from his traumatic head injury brought full-circle the connection that we cherished with the “Wesley House” during our childhood and later years.  Daddy coached numerous teams of young boys and girls through baseball, softball, and basketball at Wesley House in league play.”

This excerpt is from a note we received recently from the family of one of our senior services clients.  We believe it demonstrates the interconnectedness that InterServ programming has had in the St. Joseph community for years.  Comprehensive services for seniors, families, children and youth help provide for the basic needs to people every day.   If you or a loved one is looking for ways to avoid nursing home placement, give InterServ Senior Services a call today at 232-8080 inside St. Joseph, or toll free 1-800-794-0007.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Volunteers with a vested interest

Dateline - June 30th, 2013
Place - Griffon Indoor Sports Complex
Scene - Closing of the 2013 National Youth Weightlifting Championships.

Not ten minutes after the final lift was performed at the 2013 National Youth Weightlifting Championships at MWSU did youth director Dennis Snethen get the joking question from a coach of a different team.

"When are you going to do this again?," he asked.

Dennis had been answering that question for most of the weekend due to the events success. Many parents of the lifters had been very impressed with the facility, set-up and logistics that had taken place that weekend with some of them finding Dennis and giving him good reviews.

But after getting the repeat question from that coach after the event, his answer was always the same and always started with the acknowledgment of a certain group of people.

"Let me tell you," Dennis said, "I couldn't have done this without our volunteers."

True that.

Through the years, Wesley Weightlifting parents and volunteers have had a vested interest in how the team performs and through those performances, how the young people who go through the program are shaped, molded and grow to become good citizens.

And to some of them it is more than a vested interest, it is something that they love to do and they love to do it for Dennis, his wife Becky, and all of the Wesley Weightlifters who have come and gone.

Sure, we could find their names and list them all here with their particular job descriptions they had over the weekend event - but some of them probably wouldn't care. Sure, I could tell you that they had volunteer meetings in each of the prior six months to the event to get organized - but that is just what they do. And, sure, I could tell you that I had personal interaction with at least five people (of over 30 volunteers) that had spent half the day Thursday and three 14-hour days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the event - but they probably didn't keep track.

And maybe one of these days Dennis will be approached by the USAW to host another of these national events that hosts over 350 lifters in a 3-day span.

And knowing Dennis, his first response will be "Sure, let me get my volunteers."

To all who have a vested interest in InterServ and helped with that event, InterServ thanks you!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Being Poor

I have to admit that I am addicted to blog-reading. One of my favorite things to do when I find myself with a few spare minutes is to open one of my regular blogs or search out a new one on a topic with which I am besotted at that particular time. There is something about reading another person's story that attracts me, as a member of the social service community, as a curious snooper, as a human being. Call it curiosity, call it prurience, call it eavesdropping, snooping, rubbernecking--I read blogs to assuage some curiosity I have about the lives of others--the human condition, as it were. And, every now and then, I come across a blogger whose writing or story--or both--touches that emotional part of me that, as one with very deep-running still waters, needs to be touched from time to time in order for me to feel human.

And so it was, as I typed the words "What does it mean to be poor?" into Google one day, in preparation for a presentation I was scheduled to do, that I came across a blog entry entitled "Being Poor," on a blog called "Whatever: They Were a Lifetime Together." Anticipating that it would be more of the same old research-based information that I had already come across, I almost passed it up. Then, something made me click the link. Soon, I was in tears, reading through a laundry list of things that just say "poor." I recognized myself in many of them and old friends and clients in others. In each, I saw a reality that many of us live or have lived each day. The shame of being poor; the reality of being poor; the tragedy of being poor in a country where so many have so much and so many have so little.

I share this with you in the hopes that you will find it as touching and thought-provoking as did I. I share this with you as an insight into why I do what I do for a living. I see a world where no one ever has to know what it feels like to be able to precisely and exactly define what it means to be poor.

Being poor is the problem and people like you--and I--are the answers. InterServ, and those like it, are simply the intermediaries. Only the passion and resources--time, money, talent--that you and I bring to the table will solve the problem. Thank you for ALL that YOU do to help end the tragedy of poverty.


Being Poor

September 3, 2005 By John Scalzi

Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.

Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV.

Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they’re what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there’s not an $800 car in America that’s worth a damn.

Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away.

Being poor is knowing your kid goes to friends’ houses but never has friends over to yours.

Being poor is going to the restroom before you get in the school lunch line so your friends will be ahead of you and won’t hear you say “I get free lunch” when you get to the cashier.

Being poor is living next to the freeway.

Being poor is coming back to the car with your children in the back seat, clutching that box of Raisin Bran you just bought and trying to think of a way to make the kids understand that the box has to last.

Being poor is wondering if your well-off sibling is lying when he says he doesn’t mind when you ask for help.

Being poor is off-brand toys.

Being poor is a heater in only one room of the house.

Being poor is knowing you can’t leave $5 on the coffee table when your friends are around.

Being poor is hoping your kids don’t have a growth spurt.

Being poor is stealing meat from the store, frying it up before your mom gets home and then telling her she doesn’t have make dinner tonight because you’re not hungry anyway.

Being poor is Goodwill underwear.

Being poor is not enough space for everyone who lives with you.

Being poor is feeling the glued soles tear off your supermarket shoes when you run around the playground.

Being poor is your kid’s school being the one with the 15-year-old textbooks and no air conditioning.

Being poor is thinking $8 an hour is a really good deal.

Being poor is relying on people who don’t give a damn about you.

Being poor is an overnight shift under florescent lights.

Being poor is finding the letter your mom wrote to your dad, begging him for the child support.

Being poor is a bathtub you have to empty into the toilet.

Being poor is stopping the car to take a lamp from a stranger’s trash.

Being poor is making lunch for your kid when a cockroach skitters over the bread, and you looking over to see if your kid saw.

Being poor is believing a GED actually makes a goddamned difference.

Being poor is people angry at you just for walking around in the mall.

Being poor is not taking the job because you can’t find someone you trust to watch your kids.

Being poor is the police busting into the apartment right next to yours.

Being poor is not talking to that girl because she’ll probably just laugh at your clothes.

Being poor is hoping you’ll be invited for dinner.

Being poor is a sidewalk with lots of brown glass on it.

Being poor is people thinking they know something about you by the way you talk.

Being poor is needing that 35-cent raise.

Being poor is your kid’s teacher assuming you don’t have any books in your home.

Being poor is six dollars short on the utility bill and no way to close the gap.

Being poor is crying when you drop the mac and cheese on the floor.

Being poor is knowing you work as hard as anyone, anywhere.

Being poor is people surprised to discover you’re not actually stupid.

Being poor is people surprised to discover you’re not actually lazy.

Being poor is a six-hour wait in an emergency room with a sick child asleep on your lap.

Being poor is never buying anything someone else hasn’t bought first.

Being poor is picking the 10 cent ramen instead of the 12 cent ramen because that’s two extra packages for every dollar.

Being poor is having to live with choices you didn’t know you made when you were 14 years old.

Being poor is getting tired of people wanting you to be grateful.

Being poor is knowing you’re being judged.

Being poor is a box of crayons and a $1 coloring book from a community center Santa.

Being poor is checking the coin return slot of every soda machine you go by.

Being poor is deciding that it’s all right to base a relationship on shelter.

Being poor is knowing you really shouldn’t spend that buck on a Lotto ticket.

Being poor is hoping the register lady will spot you the dime.

Being poor is feeling helpless when your child makes the same mistakes you did, and won’t listen to you beg them against doing so.

Being poor is a cough that doesn’t go away.

Being poor is making sure you don’t spill on the couch, just in case you have to give it back before the lease is up.

Being poor is a $200 paycheck advance from a company that takes $250 when the paycheck comes in.

Being poor is four years of night classes for an Associates of Art degree.

Being poor is a lumpy futon bed.

Being poor is knowing where the shelter is.

Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.

Being poor is knowing how hard it is to stop being poor.

Being poor is seeing how few options you have.

Being poor is running in place.

Being poor is people wondering why you didn’t leave.