I learned several things about myself during the mandatory lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Even though I live with my husband, our 22-year old son, and two dogs, the feelings of isolation, anxiety and particularly, loneliness were at times overwhelming. In those moments that often turned into long periods of sadness, I wondered as many of you may have as well as to what life would look like on the other side of this pandemic. More importantly, when would the pandemic be officially over or would there even be waves of the coronavirus that would send us once again into lockdown.
Even though I found myself writing my through the isolation and anxiety during lockdown, it was the feeling of loneliness that I could not break out from even when we were allowed to resume some semblance of normalcy in phases.
Loneliness scares me.
Sure, I have a family and hobbies, but still there was a nagging sense of loneliness. During these lonely times I became acutely aware of the accumulation of “stuff” in my home, and that the only inanimate things that mattered to me where all my photos, my books, and my journals. I guess I would throw my computer into that mix too.
Writing my way through it.
I wondered how I could overcome it, whether in lockdown or when the ordinary coming and going of life resumed. Two days later, after writing that journal entry, my husband and I took lunch to my mother and her husband’s home after months of being separated due to the pandemic. On the drive home from our visit and daydreaming as the rural scenery whisked by, the vision of my personal initiative, The Watering Can that I began in 2014 to encourage, develop, and mentor a community of service suddenly came to mind. Life had thrown me a few interceptions in my plan for The Watering Can initiative since 2014 and here was God tapping me on the shoulder to begin again.
The first six months of 2020 has our country and world badly hurting for ‘watering cans’ to help with the healing. So, what is my watering can initiative?
Have you ever watered a plant that is slumped and drooping? Then you return a while later and see that it is regained its’ posture and it is seeming to thrive? And all it took was a little bit of water and to keep watering it on a regular basis so that the plant could reach its’ full potential.
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale
The Watering Can Mission Statement
The Watering Can is based upon putting faith into action to produce compassion for all living things without determining worthiness. Watering Cans are allies for all without regard to faith, gender identification, ethnicity, race and commits to protecting the earth’s resources and all who depend on the earth to thrive.
“Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” James 2, 14-16
A Watering Can does not ignore the needs of others because we think someone else will help or assume it is not a problem. A Watering Can is someone who demonstrates mercy and uses their skills to do what they can do to help the world thrive.
“Whether I find myself with plenty or want, I can experience all the richness of living generously by being willing to share what I have with others.” – The Watering Can
My personal Watering Can commitment
Perhaps you have favorite charities or organizations that you have committed time and talents. I would love to hear about them and how you have been involved in these organizations. You can email me at Hoot@thebloggingowl.com. By sharing our watering can stories, I hope we can inspire others to become watering cans too.
If you are looking to become involved in worthwhile charities and organizations in your community, check out your local chamber of commerce for recommendations or go online to www.Give.org. This link is the Better Business Bureau’s “BBB Wise Giving Alliance” that provides a full report on their accredited and non-accredited status charity organizations.
These are the charities and organizations that I have selected to commit my time and talents.
I will be blogging about these organizations in the future, my involvement, and my experience with each one of them.
A Few Friends of the Environment – www.affew.org
This is a local Michigan community organization in Mason County that works with many businesses, agencies, schools, and citizens in projects such as dune grass planting, Christmas tree and battery recycling, cleaning Ludington beaches, eradication of invasive plant species, river monitoring, household hazardous waste collection day, and recycling.
Friends of Ludington State Park – www.friendsofludingtonstatepark.org
Friends of Ludington State Park (FLSP) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting wise use and conservation of this gem that is Ludington State Park. FLSP works to support and improve the park through the funding of projects, recreational equipment, and interpretive programs and by volunteering to assist park staff on projects and trail cleanup.
Michigan Chapter, of The Audubon Society – www.michiganaudubon.org
Michigan Audubon connects birds and people for the benefit of both through conservation, education, and research efforts in the state of Michigan.
Operation Gratitude – www.operationgratitude.com
Operation Gratitude, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is the largest nonprofit in the country for hands-on volunteerism in support of Military, Veterans, and First Responders.
Samaritas – www.samaritas.org
Samaritas is one of Michigan’s largest faith-based, nonprofit health and human services agencies and serves nearly 14,000 people statewide. The agency helps children find loving families by utilizing family preservation, foster care and adoption programs and services. Through Samaritas, New Americans can access resettlement services for refugees and establish new homes. They offer transitional homes for the homeless, women existing the prison system and victims of human trafficking. Seniors seeking cost-effective, independent living options with memory care and rehab support, can also lean on Samaritas for assistance. They also offer affordable living residential communities offer clean, low-cost environments for seniors, families, and people with development disabilities.
Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan – www.rpsm.org
Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan partners with regional animal shelters and Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, Michigan to help dogs reach their maximum potential and find loving forever families. The carefully screened dogs are fully vaccinated and spayed or neutered before entering their 10-week program with specially trained inmates who are fully responsible for their daily training and care. When the dogs graduate training they are ready to receive a canine good citizen certificate (CGC) and are available for adoption into an approved home. RPSM utilizes foster homes to care for most of the dogs that enter the program. Once families are approved to adopt, they may be able to meet with a dog that is in a foster home before they enter training. If approved to adopt a dog while they are in training, they will receive their weekly reports until adoption day.
The Ronald McDonald House in Ann Arbor – https://rmhcannarbor.org/
Since opening in 1985, Ronald McDonald House Charities Ann Arbor (RMHCAA) has welcomed over 26,000 families. These families travel a distance from their homes, arriving from out of state and from other countries. Their length of stay may range from a day or two to several months. Hundreds of volunteers are involved with the Houses. Volunteers serve The Ronald McDonald house in many different capacities either individually or in groups.
When I choose to look outward to serve others rather than in self-centered preoccupation, I am no longer lonely and isolated. Together, we both thrive.
The Blogging Owl
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