I Am Bad At Asking For Help
Maybe you are as well? Or, if you are not bad at it, perhaps you made a conscious choice to get better at asking for help, or were taught from a young age how to ask for and receive help. Wherever you are in the “asking for help journey”, I honor you. I just know that historically, personally, I’m bad at it.
I love when others ask me to help though. I love showing up for friends and loved ones in my life, even strangers. It feels good to be helpful, useful, magnanimous in moments of providing assistance or services that were concretely needed by another human. Why then, am I particularly weird about extending that same opportunity and experience to others by not asking for help when I need it most? I think it has something to do with privilege, resources, identity, and cultural bias. But, that is a whole bag of unpackable sermon sandwiches we don’t have the time or space for in this short article.
Juvenile COVID vaccinations became available on Wednesday, November 3, 2021. News stations broadcast some of the first shots and their child recipients’ responses. Parents were interviewed, audible relief in their voices, as their children received their first dose. If you’ve ever accompanied a child to receive a vaccination, I bet you can guess that live broadcasts of these events were not the TV gold some producers were hoping to capture. There was crying, screaming, whimpering, cajoling, and Band-Aids. Still, this new phase brings our own community closer to the togetherness we’ve missed since COVID first appeared on our scene. The Religious Exploration program at First Unitarian has been waiting for this moment. In six short weeks, we will roll out programming meant to re-engage families in person and online.
We are going to need help.
I need your help. I’m asking for your assistance to create a safe place for our families to land as they re-emerge into community life beyond the walls of the schools. Families have been in a state of constant risk assessment for over a year and a half. Vaccines will impact those calculations on timelines and choices as varied and unique as our family units are. Matt, Lena, Shannon, and I are talented, but not clone-able. We simply cannot administer RE programs on our own. We have some dedicated volunteers, but they also cannot do this alone. We need teams of folks who will show up in this ministry to welcome, nurture, and grow with our families. Sunday mornings will require 2-3 nursery staff, 2 pre-school volunteers, 7 elementary facilitators, and 4 youth facilitators. That’s 15 folks per Sunday, and if we don’t want to burn out those fifteen folks, we should plan for them to have maybe two Sundays a month away from their volunteer responsibilities. So then, perhaps we really need 30 to 35 volunteers for Sunday mornings all together. Our OWL program requires trained facilitators at every level. Teams of 3-4 teachers who rotate their leadership roles in class and planning make the OWL experience work. There are 5 levels of OWL we could potentially offer if we have facilitators and participants ready to go.
There are a variety of ways we will be building our way toward a volunteer administered program. One step is volunteer recruitment. I’m asking you to consider how you might be able to show up in support of our families.
We’ll have applications for volunteer positions, as well as paid childcare and nursery staff positions. Volunteers and staff who work with children and youth will need to be background checked, vaccinated, and trained. We hope to return to robust programming that includes Our Whole Lives, in person Sunday morning experiences, Parent nights out for registered families, online Storytime, family events, an active RE lay led team that takes on a role in imaging our RE present and future.
We hope to begin some in person programming in six weeks. To do that, we’ll need your help. If you want to help create a community at First Unitarian where families, kids, youth, and parents can find support and connection, then please, consider applying to volunteer in RE. Applications for volunteers and nursery staff will be available online and in-person on Sunday, November 14th.
In deep Gratitude,