When Helping Hurts
Laundry Love has been very close to my heart for the past few years. We’ve been serving the Harbor City area and making lasting friendships since 2009.
If you’re unsure as to what LL is, it’s simple. You and a bunch of friends adopt a laundry mat, show up on a consistent periodic basis, provide quarters so folks can do laundry, and make friends with those you serve along the way. The beautiful thing about LL is, it isn’t meant to be a touch and go project. It’s meant to be a vehicle that builds bridges between communities and foster ongoing friendships.
Needless to say, I’m excited that we’ll be launching an LL site in Long Beach at the end of April. It’s especially meaningful because it provides an opportunity for our future plant to build relationships with folks in Long Beach even before our church gets started.
With that said, I’m wondering what your thoughts are on community service projects and the tendency they have of giving off the impression that those who are serving are merely serving “those people.” When we position ourselves, with good intensions of course, to serve the community, it’s easy to create a divide that communicates “us” vs “them.” Instead, we should serve our communities with the intentions of becoming “one of those people.”
In other words, when does helping hurt?
How about you?