Why I Volunteer
It's all about Community
"Planting Seeds of Help"
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Charlotte North Carolina Grannies
I have been a student of the "Intentional Community" model of living space since 2000.
What is Intentional Community(IC)? It can be many things.
a community of people over age 60 living in separate dwellings/apartments/tiny homes or sharing a common large home. Think "Senior Living."
That was the original goal at the inception of the Charlotte North Carolina Grannies, a 501(c)4 non-profit.
Present time 2020
The Charlotte North Carolina Grannies focus is still on elder community, but in a different way. It is now more about Security.
1. Having a place to live in and call home.
2. Having enough food to eat.
I currently refer to these two things as Health and Wellness.
You may hear these also referred to as Secure Living and Food Security.
Many of the "baby boomers" generation are now living with their only income as Social Security.
Can people in our current society imagine living on less than $10,000.00 per year? It is doable but it is not easy.
Affordable Housing based on income is in short supply. Waiting lists for an affordable apartment is 2 years plus.
Food for a single senior citizen is the same price as it is for anyone else. EBT (food stamps) may help, that help is based on a formula, for example; what one pays for medical treatment and prescriptions, the amount of Social Security received and other factors. Imagine having $60. a month for food. Free Food Pantries do their best with pantry items such as canned beans, dry beans, spaghetti sauce, spaghetti, rice, corn being the staples; sometimes the pantry has some fresh items such as fruit, vegetables, meat and bread.
The food may be delivered to the elderly or they may have to find a way to pick up the food.
As a volunteer;
I attend gatherings attended by the heads of non-profits; food banks, clothing, elderly needs, etc. Interestingly so far none of the gatherings I have attended have anyone there representing affordable housing.
I attend training sessions, for instance; Being part of a role play of persons living in poverty.
I speak out as an Advocate for the Elderly living at or below the poverty level and their needs of Affordable Housing and Food at the non-profit gatherings and sometimes non-profit presentations.
I meet with Realtors and tell them about the housing needs. I plant seeds where ever I can. Someone, somewhere will hear the needs and will have the wisdom to address this and perhaps they will have the ear of someone with the means to make things better.
A few months ago (2019) at the non-profits gathering I mentioned that EBT was going to be cut across the board. Letting them know to get ready because the Food Pantries would be needed more than ever.
“Not all of us can do great things,
but we can do small things
with great love.”