Getting the Help You Really Need
“Everybody wants to help. I know it sounds crazy but sometimes it’s overwhelming and I don’t feel comfortable asking for what I really do need.”
Most of us aren’t very good at asking for help when we need it. We’re used to being able to take care of our families on our own. And though our friends and family may want to help, they probably don’t know how to offer it or even what would be helpful to you right now.
This is a time when you need to learn to accept the help you need. In doing so, you give others the chance to do something good for you and that makes them feel better at the same time. Being on the receiving end is a difficult thing for many. It is one of the gifts you do receive in this time of trials and worries and a gift you give to others.
There are probably specific things you need to keep your family afloat during this strenuous time. You may be dealing with dietary restrictions, changes you need to make at your home and new routines you need to follow. You might want to consider giving a list of the things that would be helpful to you to a friend or someone at school who is good at organizing and can be the contact person for connecting your needs with people who want to help.
In the hopes of getting you really practical and useful help from those well intentioned and concerned friends, family, school community, faith community, etc. the list below is intended to make it easier to connect you with people that can help.
Here’s a letter you can hand to friends who want to help but don’t know how:
This is a very demanding and emotional time for all of us. We appreciate your interest and your desire to be here with us. We all know it is hard to ask for help and to know what to do to help. The truth is, we do in fact need your help in some areas. To make it easier for us both, we have some ideas that you can assist us with. This is just to be helpful and there is no pressure or obligation, we just wanted to make it easier for all of us.
Things that would be very helpful:
• Mow the lawn when we’re away for several days or circumstances prevent us from doing it ourselves.
• Arrange for transportation for our other children to get to/from school, sports and other activities. This can be shared among a few people; we can provide schedules, directions, etc.
• Sponsor a housecleaning session.
• Pick up meds at pharmacy or clinic/hospital.
• Shop for groceries with a list.
• Walk the dog regularly.
• Have our other children over to play or sleepover occasionally.
• Bring news from school, notes, cards, journal from the kids.
• Keep friends updated for us and express our appreciation for their concern. This reduces the number of calls we need to make.
• Please call before visiting. We may be resting or having a rough day/night. We want to make sure we can honor your time too.
• Run errands we may need help with: will provide the list
• Come sit with my child so I can take a walk, go to church, have an occasional break with someone he/ she feels comfortable with
• Laundry! A few less loads would be heaven
• The following food items are always welcom: bag lunches for when we are “on the go” at the clinic or hospital, etc., drinks and non perishable food and snacks
• gift cards for the grocery store or takeout food.
• Drop off take out dinners when we get home after treatments/long days at the clinic or appointments.
• Coordinate meals for a few days or weekly that can be frozen and reheated or simply prepped to eat. Fresh veggies/ fruit/ drinks are always welcome (we’ll be sure to let you know of any special dietary needs).
• Drop off snacks and drinks for at home when we have many people in and out of the house.
We are deeply grateful for your care and concern for our family and anything you do will be a big help and a relief. Thank you for holding us all in your hearts and thoughts. It is good to know we are not alone.