Neighbors Coming Together

My mom recently shared something with me that goes a long way to restoring my faith in humanity AND in the principles of free market economics!

My mom has recently moved and is a part of the private social media experience called NextDoor, which allows people to connect privately about things going on in their neighborhood.  People discuss safety issues, make requests for babysitters, offer or ask for help, and so on.  It is a great way for people feel connected to their neighbors.

Well, recently a young teenager reached out on this particular group in my mom's neighborhood, asking for babysitting or lawn care jobs, any jobs to make a little money because his mom was in need.  He went on to give a brief description of their backstory, which involved domestic abuse and financial strain, and his mom was in need of money in order to secure their home for them and keep her ex-husband away.

Not long after the initial post was made, the neighbors began offering help.  A GoFundMe was started.  Meals were made.  In short order, over $4,000 was collected to benefit the family, and this teenager who reached out is booked solid with jobs to earn some extra cash.

This mother and her kids are now in a secure position and absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity from people.  I, too, am overwhelmed, but not in the least bit surprised.  This is one of my favorite parts of living in America.

This is only one example of times that I have seen the community come together for a stranger and help them get back on their feet.  I think back to last fall when a friend of my brother-in-law had a stroke, and in a few short days, a bunch of strangers scraped together over $7,000 to help with expenses as he recovered.  I think of my coworker who was in a serious motorcycle accident last spring, and how quickly our fellow co-workers (many of whom did not know him well) got involved to raise money for him and his family.  The news was full of such examples during last summer's hurricane season, as people were willing to give so much to those who had been displaced.

People are so willing to help.  They don't require a push, they don't require formal channels or government involvement.  They see a need and are willing to step in, offering financial support, meals, car rides, child care, a place to stay, and more.

It proves my belief that we do not need charity to be enforced by the government.  People will help each other freely.  More importantly, it reminds me that there are still good, kind, and loving people out there, willing to sacrifice for a stranger in need.