Why we give back to our community…
If every middle class family took on one neighbor to help this year, I believe we could completely end homelessness, and end depression in a widespread area of our community. This year we could change lives. Sure that sounds sweet….but who’s actually going to get around to doing that. It started with an idea . . . but isn’t that always how these things start? The hard part was putting into words what we were doing. Organizing the heart behind something we had already been kind of doing all along.
Dad always had a huge heart for the Richmond community. I remember him mentioning the idea of turning his painting company into a “one for one” mission by, “giving a percentage of our income to helping our neighbors”. I loved the idea but the timing (for whatever reason) was just “off” for me. I remembered that conversation from two years ago this past Christmas break and brought it up to dad over one of our ‘Father- daughter date nights’. Dad’s eyes lit up the way they do when he’s super excited about something I’m saying or doing.
“I think this is the right time,” he said, assuring me. “I’ve really been praying for confirmation and I feel like this conversation is it.” Before you freak out and think this is another one of those “religious blogs about helping people, blah, blah, blah. . .” Give me a chance. I have this crazy thought that this has nothing to do with what you believe, and everything to do with that fact that we ALL are a part of something so much bigger then the same routine of life we live every day.
Well, there it is. HPI, Hetrick Painting, Inc. will now sister with HPI, Hope Provided Initiative. It hasn’t been long since we’ve put this whole idea into action. The actual helping part was something that came pretty naturally to my family and I. Missions trips and local acts of service have always been part of our family life. We LOVE people and community. It’s the nitty-gritty “office” work, the necessities to any successful organization, that I struggle with on a daily basis. The other hard part is the whole “When Helping Hurts” concept. This is when we step (more like trample), all over someone’s personal space and assume we know what’s best for them just because their lives look different from us. This brings me to the REAL topic, the core of Hope Provided
What we’re about:
We are not a charity, ‘do gooders’ or in some mindset that we are so much better off that we feel we should give financially “until it hurts”.
While there is nothing wrong with giving financially, (in SO many ways money helps) It’s just, I believe there’s a different mission for HopeProvided and that there is more to our lives than the simplicity of our “once in a while contribution to the needy”.
The truth is, I need this more than it probably needs me. I need to be reminded of the reality of the world all around me. Let me explain…
I spent a year “finding myself” in Johannesburg, South Africa and Port-Au-Prince, Haiti back in 2010. The desperation of the human race was never so real to me. But what was most shocking to me after this experience was to learn that, Africa and Haiti, were everywhere. And it wasn’t necessarily taking on a different form either. Desperate, depressed, lost and hurt people were all over the place. I know we can all get a little fed up with the man on the street holding the sign “hungry, anything helps.” Some of us think “yeah, sure buddy, those shoes look brand new and you’re clean shaven, you’re doing just fine.” Or “I just gave change to your friend a few blocks back.” Or some will give, give, give and give… But is any of this solving the actual problem? Whether or not the guy holding the sign is ‘actually’ homeless or whether or not we are giving him money, the bottom line is: Why does he feel like he has to stand there? Why is it day after day? Why aren’t things getting better? Could it be the problem is not the hundreds of homeless people, or the countless broken families?
Maybe I am the problem. Maybe I am so caught up with myself that I’m convinced I don’t have time to REALLY stop and help. I’m so consumed with this “American Dream” for my family and myself, that I’m ignoring what makes America such an incredible and unique country; Freedom and community. I’m finding, more and more, that these issues are a simple problem of never experiencing real relentless love and not so much about money…. It shouldn’t matter if you’re religious or a humanitarian. What should matter is that we are all neighbors, that without all of us, we don’t have this “dream life’ we all seem to be striving towards. These are real people with a past, a present and a hope for a future. I want to get to the bottom of these issues. I want Richmond to be the strongest community in America. The most selfless. That’s what changes things. Our simple little choices to take time for the things that ACTUALLY matter. To care about the root of the problems, and care about finding the solutions. If every middle class family took on one neighbor to help this year, we could completely end homelessness, depression, loneliness and helplessness in our community. And change both their lives and our own.
So here’s the challenge. By working alongside a local business once a month (to promote small businesses in the Richmond area) and helping a neighbor in need, until it’s complete, HPI and Hope Provided plan on changing things. Neighbor to Neighbor.