Who do you call when the day is over and things haven’t gone your way? Does your family come to the rescue when your child needs a babysitter or finances get tight? Imagine not having these resources in your life. Imagine coming home from work to find you forgot to pay the electric bill and there’s no one to watch your son or daughter the next day when you’ve got to work that double shift.
Connections play an important role in helping each of us make it through the day. During the good times we celebrate together and during the hard times we look to those in our network for support. One of the leading causes of poverty in any area is the lack of this network, this safety net of people who are there to help you up when you fall. L.E.A.P. recognizes the necessity of community connections and we seek to be the place you turn to when the chips are stacked against you.
Having been a presence in Washington County for over 50 years, we were a bit surprised when so many people told us they didn’t know about the breadth of services we provided (even before we changed our name). In light of this fact, we made it a priority to be out in the community this year. Last weekend, L.E.A.P. staff attended two events, Community Resource Day at the Aviation Mall and Sandy Hill Days in Hudson Falls. It’s days like these where I truly appreciate my job and my role in this community.
Countless people stopped by our booths over the two days; some were potential customers, others were looking for a way to give back, and others were service providers in the area. Each conversation gave me a glimpse into the lives of those stopping by. They were no longer a name from a business card or a statistic from our annual report. They were living and breathing members of Washington County and the surrounding areas. Regaled with everything from stories of growing up on farms here to the hardships these folks faced today, it was truly a memorable experience.
A community is a living organism that needs to be nurtured and cared for. When a portion of a community becomes weak, the entire group is weaker as a result. L.E.A.P. works to build up communities and their greatest resource: the people who live there.