Recently I received a badly spelled note from the person who has been delivering my newspaper. She is leaving the area to be closer to family, and thanked me for allowing her to be of service for five years. I haven’t been able to get her out of my mind: The Invisible Woman. I did not know her. I did not even think about her. I never saw her, nor did I ever wonder who had made the paper appear on the step every day. I am somewhat dismayed at my lack of curiosity or concern. I am the CEO of a charitable institution. I have worked in and volunteered in the nonprofit sector nearly all of my life. I have believed myself to be a caring individual. And yet, this woman provided a needed service, came to my door on a daily basis, and I never gave her a thought.
How many Invisible People make my life better? There are those who do the dishes and sweep the floors at the restaurants I frequent. There are those who stock the grocery shelves and those who grow the vegetables I enjoy. Some construct the clothes I wear. There are those who transcribe my doctor’s notes, who worked on the line that produced my beloved Ford, and those who provide childcare to my friends’ babies so they can work. Now that the dam has broken, I could go on for days listing all the people I don’t know but who are important to my life. Do they make a living wage? Do they have medical care or health insurance? Do they have a roof and a cool place to rest on a hot day?
I challenge us all to consider the connectedness of humankind, and the many that touch our lives without our giving them a second thought. What can we do to assure that their labors are appreciated? By supporting the nonprofits that provide service to the underserved, we are at least making an attempt to do something to deserve the blessings their hard work provides to us.
Support some of the many fine nonprofits in the area, including your Community Foundation. We use our knowledge of the sector to make grants to solid organizations doing good work. And in the future, when we do so, I’ll be considering the Invisible Woman, and many others like her. Her work may be an everyday matter, but supporting those who may be helping her is one way to make EVERY DAY MATTER.
Denise K. Spencer