This week Henrieta and I attend a SCORE conference for women entrepreneurs. SCORE is an organization sponsored by the SBA (small business administration) that provides mentoring and education for businesses. The goal of SCORE is to help people be successful in their business. The community that we have found in SCORE leaders and the other entrepreneurs has supported, educated and guided us. Henrieta and I don’t think we would still be in business if it was not for the SCORE community.
Through this community we have met others who are starting a business. We have attended workshops on everything from marketing, business plan writing, and social media management to creating your own elevator pitch videos. In every meeting we attend, we meet new people and make connections and friends. Whenever we have needed business help, guidance or just a little care and support, this group is there for us. We are a part of a very special community that supports our business and builds our confidence.
In last week’s blog, “In Community”, I shared my belief that we were created to be in community, and with the help of a healthy community accomplish all that we were created to be. It has been proven that we can accomplish more in a group than we can when we are alone. In the Huff Post article, The Five Benefits of Community, author Jonathan Chan shares the following benefits of community; in a community we share resources, knowledge, connections, are supported and find inspiration. I find this is true in my SCORE community, in my family community and also in my church community.
A few years ago we received a phone call that our nephew was critically ill. The prognosis was not good. As my husband and I sat together praying and trying to process the call, the first thought that came to both of us was, we need to put his name on the prayer list at church. We needed the support of our faith community. We needed to know that we were not alone. Experiencing the support from people who care, gave us peace. The knowledge that others were praying helped us to feel that in some small way we were helping our nephew.
After a long hospitalization and recovery period, our nephew has mostly recovered. His recovery was a miracle, one that I know all the prayers, from our and other communities, had a part in.
I am a part of the Support Team Network. Support teams are a community of people who come together to care for others. Each person on the team is asked to share what they love to do, when they have time to do it, in a coordinated way. I have seen first had the difference a support team can make in a life. There are teams that prepare meals for those that need them. There are transportation teams that take people to doctor’s appointments or shopping when they cannot drive. I know of teams that visit hospitals and seniors homes to share the gift of music and companionship. There are many types of teams meeting endless needs of others.
These teams are excellent examples of a community coming together to care for others. The marvelous gift of these teams is twofold. The first gift is received by those being cared for. They know that they are not alone. They know that help is not far away. The care receivers experience connections and support of others. The second gift is received by those on the team. The care givers receive the gift of sharing their time and talents with someone in need, in a community that cares for each member. As a Christian I try my best to live by the great commandment given by Christ in Matthew 22:39; ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
When you make the choice to care and support others as you would like to be cared and supported, the benefits will be beyond what you can imagine.