Finding Support through the Kindness of Others

Henry* has always believed in the power of kindness. Dealing with mental illness most of his life, Henry knows that one of the things that has helped him get through difficult days are the positive people around him. Because of this, Henry has always lent a helping hand to those who have struggled. Although he deals with physical and mental health issues similar to the residents he helps, Henry always does whatever he can to help the community he lives in.

One of Henry’s favorite things to do is deliver food from local pantries to the other residents who lack transportation. He also enjoys volunteering at community events and walking his neighbors’ dogs.

On one unfortunate morning, Henry woke up with an aching pain in his foot. Having injured it decades ago, he has always been extra careful not to put too much pressure on it, but with the everyday wear and tear, the pain became unbearable.

Worried about missing his food deliveries and volunteer commitments, Henry called his Director of Social Services, Linda, to inform her of the residents who would be affected. Concerned more for Henry’s well-being, Linda paid him a visit in order to assess the situation. Although Henry’s concern was on the other residents, Linda emphasized the importance that in order to take care of others, he must first take care of himself.

After making an appointment and visiting his doctor’s office, Henry learned that he would be needing foot surgery which would require weeks of recovery time. Henry was disheartened over the thought of missing his volunteer commitments. Not only was he missing out on the opportunity to help people, but he was also missing out on the social interaction he enjoyed with his neighbors. His time spent out and about in the community was a huge factor in maintaining his mental health. Without it, Henry was afraid his issues would resurface.

Another problem that Henry faced was food security. Without access to the food bank, Henry had very limited resources to prepare a proper meal. Knowing of his limitations, Linda immediately connected Henry to Meals on Wheels, which is an organization that delivers hot meals every day to those who have limited mobility and lack access to fresh food.

Linda also made it a point to visit Henry frequently and encouraged his neighbors to do the same. Because of his big heart, Henry was never short of support from his neighbors and from his friends. “Despite his mental health challenges and limited income, Henry chooses to get up every day and put his best foot forward. He has taken control of his situation and looks at the positive side instead of focusing on the bad,” Linda says.

Today, Henry continues to recover from his surgery and is finally able to leave the house. Despite the boot he is required to wear, Henry is back to volunteering and serving his community.

*name has been changed*

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