In April this year, my son Asa was born. His arrival was quick and dramatic, but very welcome! The first year of motherhood has been filled with fun and joy, but it’s also been hard, painful, and tiring. At times I’ve felt confused and unsure of myself. Then I wake up to a happy, content baby boy, and I think maybe I am doing something right.
My work at The Simple Way has felt much the same. 2015 was my first full year as director and our first year after the transition back to our focus on local work in our neighborhood. There have been really fun, exciting developments, as well as disappointments and difficult setbacks. There are days I wonder if we can keep doing what we’re doing. But there are so many more days I am reminded our work matters and it’s important it be here.
We have celebrated Easter, Mother’s Day, Back To School, Thanksgiving, and soon Christmas with neighborhood events. With help from friends, we were able to rebuild our garden boxes and start a small computer lab. Now neighbors can access the Internet for job searches, resume writing, and more.
Through Philabundance and the Grocers Against Hunger program, we received food donations twice a week from our local grocery store, Pathmark. This arrangement enabled us to give out almost 2,000 lbs of food weekly. Sadly, Pathmark closed its doors at the end of November, so we are working to find other sources of food and will give out a smaller amounts until then.
Nurturing the work at The Simple Way is much like raising my son. I dream about what our days will be like when Asa runs, talks, makes his own bed, and heads out into the world on his own. But until then, I work hard to love him, feed him, and keep him safe.
I continue to dream about our work in Kensington and the ways we want to cultivate and foster neighborhood leaders, to develop more partnerships in our community, and to build a neighborhood together we can be proud of. So we keep working to create a place our neighbors come for resources and support, for educational and employment opportunities, for friendship, for love, and for a place of belonging.
Thank you for walking along with us at The Simple Way. We hope you have a meaning-filled Christmas and a happy New Year!