One of the most powerful things about a truly supportive community is that it has a role for everyone to play. Supportive communities are filled with individuals taking steps to not only better care for themselves, but who are actively working to care for their community. Caring for one another doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money, and it doesn’t have to take any special skills or tools to do. I find that when I really try, I can see dozens of little ways every day that I can better support the people in my life.
Often it starts at home with me finding intentional ways to show my love and care for my family. Maybe I’ll get up a little earlier so I can start the coffee pot for my spouse or finish up the dishes from last night. Maybe when I see my child come down ready for school, I can take a moment to check in with them about their day or follow-up on a story they told me a few days ago.
During my commute, it could be as small as a wave to a passing driver or as big as pulling over to help a stranded motorist. At work, I might take an extra couple of minutes to check in with a staff member that has been struggling with problems at home. I may also try to find a way to use the resources we have to organize an event or program to support my team’s well-being. There are so many opportunities we have to slow down, notice what is happening in the lives of those around us, and reach out and care for them.
This month, there are two exciting opportunities for us all to give back to our community. Alive and Well STL is hosting community meet-ups where you can “walkabout and talkabout” what our region has already accomplished, what we need to do to move forward, and how you can help. There will be a meet up on Saturday, October 21st from 1-3pm at the O’Fallon Park Recreation Complex (4343 W. Florissant Ave./63115) as well as on Thursday, October 26th from 6-8 pm at 100 Black Men of St. Louis (4631 Delmar Blvd./63108). If you want to learn more about what you can do to create an alive and well community or get more information about our upcoming meet-ups, visit www.aliveandwellstl.com.
By Joe Yancey
Chair of the Community Advisory Board of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission
Executive Director of Places for People