Have you ever had your life stopped in its tracks by a sudden crisis? Whether it is from illness, accident, a death in the family or one of life’s other challenges, most of us will run into a crisis at some point in our lives that throws us off the tracks. Torn from your normal routine, you’re no longer able to take care of the normal everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids, or walking the dog. Well-meaning friends and family might send flowers or bake cookies, but this is probably not what you really need at a time like this. What you really need is help getting through the day. Anne Carey is building A Gift of Service for people to give help at times like this when it is needed the most.
A Gift of Service connects those who want to give help with those who need the help and those who provide it, giving them a way to provide housecleaning, babysitting, nanny service, handyman services, dog walking, or more.
The project was inspired by Carey’s own life. When she was nine her mother died just days after her older sister got married, and her father died of a heart attack six months later. Carey and three siblings were suddenly left in the care of her older sister and her new husband, with many moved by their challenge and asking how to help.
Recently, her sister’s husband, the man who had raised Carey as her new “Dad”, suffered a massive heart attack, throwing them all into crisis mode as he was in the ICU for three weeks, and leaving those around them asking once again “How can I help?”
It’s an old question when we’re moved by the trouble someone is going through, someone we care about. We reach out and ask “How can I help?” The answers are not always clear. Flowers can be a nice way to show your concern, but when the color of flowers fades people are left to struggle still with the ordinary tasks we need to take care but have trouble dealing when a crisis hits. A Gift of Service delivers a creative new answer for this question, a new way to offer meaningful help.
The services provided will help those most in need, and also helps their friends connect with a new and better way to help. For service providers, it offers a new way to engage with potential clients and do good work as well. And for those like doctors and other health care providers, A Gift of Service helps them to work with patients who are going home, reducing stress on them and their families, and maybe even keeping them healthier and out of the hospital.
A Gift of Service has a campaign right now on a crowdsourcing site called Medstartr, for medically oriented projects, helping them to get the business going. To read more and participate, just go to:
Glenn Croston is the author of “75 Green Businesses You Can Start to Make Money and Make a Difference”, “The Real Story of Risk”, and “Gifts from the Train Station”.