Helping Hands

Some people see a problem and complain. Others see a problem, figure out what has to be done, and get busy doing it.

Most of us don’t like to ask for help. But it’s a refreshing and validating experience when people offer their help without being asked – and everyone works together to achieve a shared goal.

That’s what happened last week, when a Derry resident was faced with a failed wheelchair lift needed by her son so he can get in and out of their house.

The young man’s mother tried to build a ramp herself, and while purchasing supplies, mentioned her project to a staff member of Home Depot. He offered to help, and when he saw the challenges of the project, returned to his supervisors and sought their assistance. Home Depot provided some of the supplies through its Team Depot program, and Home Depot staff and others volunteered their time.

The result? A new, functioning ramp and a fine example of neighborly caring.

The Team Depot program is a good example of community spirit. But it’s not alone. Our area is fortunate to have several organizations that exist to help others as well.

Community Caregivers of Greater Derry, which sends volunteers to help elderly and disabled persons in area towns remain in their homes, providing grocery shopping, transportation and a friendly visit, immediately comes to mind, as does Family Promise of Greater Rockingham County, which works with area religious congregations to provide temporary shelter for homeless families, along with a place to wash their clothes and learn about community resources.

The Community Meals Network in Derry is another group of volunteers who host free meals for anyone who cares to dine with them. The meals are hosted by various religious congregations, as well as by one of Derry’s schools. Having no money is not a requirement, and there’s no preaching. For many, the meals –a variety of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that we regularly list on our calendar page – are as much an opportunity for socialization as they are a chance to eat a hearty meal.

The Wilcomb Townsend Trust in Chester steps in, quietly, when residents are in need. And for those who have no other access to food, the area is rich in having Sonshine Soup Kitchen in Derry, as well as food banks in each of our towns.

This isn’t a comprehensive listing, just an acknowledgement of the spirit of community that flows through our towns. In a world that all too often is cold and impersonal, local groups and volunteers are ready to help, up close and personal.

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