After having worked as a Resource and Referral Specialist for Neighbor by Neighbor for the past 10 months, I am still surprised by the number of new resources I learn about in our local communities. I had the opportunity to set up a booth at New Buffalo High School’s Ideas Fair last week. Organized by an inspired student and teacher, the Ideas Fair promoted local services and groups from our communities. The keynote speaker, addressing the high school students, provided information about the growing number of people who are addicted to pain killers, and the alternative methods available to cope with stress and pain.
It made for a great segue for me to open discussion with students who visited my Neighbor by Neighbor booth. It gave me a chance to let them know about the PATH program (chronic pain management) offered by Area Agency on Aging hosting a class at our very own River Valley Senior Center as well as Families Against Narcotics. These served as great jumping off points to introduce to them the type of work I do to connect individuals in need to social services. Many of us won’t seek to know about services until we need them, so I took the opportunity to resource these students with knowledge about what is out there in the community. Why grieve alone when we have resources like Lory’s Place? Why go hungry when food is provided at the Harbor Country Emergency Food Pantry? And why go it alone in understanding your child’s autism when you can receive the supportive services of LOGAN center? These are just a few of the many valuable resources our community has to offer. Like the wonderful New Buffalo High School students, let’s be open to new ideas, and then share these ideas with our neighbors.