Wednesday, December 3, 2008

what will we do?

here i am again, avoiding this space because i don't feel like i have much to say. you would think now that i have a lull in work projects, i would be flooded with ideas of what to write about. but it feels like the opposite is true: i think, "i really need to post a blog," and then...n o t h i n g.

so i was thinking today that i just needed to post another random "here's what's up with the bennetts" kind of update, and then ding! i remembered i was annoyed about something. and if you have read my blog for any length of time, you probably know that my best written blogs are ones in which i'm annoyed or frustrated about something. (side note: there are lots of times when i don't like this about my personality. i'm a glass half empty kind of gal. but then i think there are times when it is probably a good value to have. just don't ask me to give you examples of when...)

yesterday i was having lunch with two friends, both of whom work for a local homeless ministry. the ministry focuses on serving families. they have a school on site for the children (an accredited, public school--very awesome), counseling programs, and even residential programs for families to get them off the streets. 

(another side note: i almost typed that this is a great organization, and then i stopped myself. see, i have baggage because this organization is the same one my husband worked for and got laid off from without any notice almost 2 years ago--when we were 4 months pregnant. so, i have to say that they do great things in the community, but i will stop short of saying they are great because, truthfully, they treat their employees like crap. worse than crap, really.)

a few days ago, a woman in tampa took her 5-month-old baby to the hospital and he's currently being treated for water intoxication. (what?!) apparently, the woman was diluting the baby's formula with water because she wanted to make the formula last. it seems that the woman is on WIC and that this organization is not providing enough checks for her to buy the formula she needs to feed her child. (it could be lots of other things, but we'll take her word for it.)

so after this news story broke, my friends have been getting lots of calls, asking their organization to collect formula for the woman. as i listened to the 2 of them talk, problem solve, think about what to do/how to get involved or not get involved/etc., i started feeling bothered, agitated, restless, maybe on the verge of angry. and here's why.

something is really wrong in the world that churches aren't stepping in to help this woman. why do people sit back and let the "homeless ministry" do the work? i don't get it. if churches really did what jesus calls us to do, we wouldn't need government aid, we wouldn't need homeless ministries. we would be caring for the people in our community, with compassion, with urgency, with quickness, with skill, with humility.

we wouldn't say, "oh, look at us: we collected 2 barrels of food for the local homeless ministry" while we're driving to the mall to buy a wii or getting online to buy an american girl doll (that was me 2 days ago). 

and look, i'm the first to admit guilt. heck, right now i don't even have a church home. i'm just thinking: if this lady really didn't have enough formula, and she was feeding her baby WATER, and now everyone in tampa knows about it, i'm just praying that it's churches who respond. i pray that we don't sit around and let this responsiblity fall to the homeless ministry just because "it's what they do." 

we are a community. we are neighbors. this child is our responsibility. how will we respond? how will i respond? 


Amelia Plum said...

I was on wic with my son and you get more than enough in terms of checks for formula - that organization is wonderful. also, having just finished up A&P water intoxication for am infant sounds very odd. That's something that usually happens to people during drinking contests when you chug to gallons of water in order to win something, you can wind up killing yourself from it, or in college people on ecstacy would drinking a lot under the mistaken belief the drug drained your spinal fluid and wind up with water intoxication point of the story being don't do drugs.
But back to your main point in writing, I totally understand your frustration. Here in Pittsburgh UPMC (a nonprofit hospital monopoly that made a 6.8 billion profit last year but they're a nonprofit hospital) is closing hope house, a shelter for homeless/drug addicted pregnant women in Braddock (a blighted area). They said they're closing it because of money but well they made a ton of money last year and are opening a new children's hospital and building another hospital in Monroeville. Our capitalist society views everything as a business and if you have any shred of humanity you can see how that doesn't work with healthcare or protecting the most vulnerable members of society. Three days ago at UPMC Montefiore an 89 year old woman with dementia went missing in her gown and slippers, they later found her dead on the rooftop (it was in the twenties that day). Yet people are happy that gas prices are dropping not thinking of the serious implications about why they're dropping. You just need to be aware of things (which you are) and do your bit to help (which you do). DIdn't mean for this to be so long but any healthcare atrocities just set me off.

kaden said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


kaden said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.