Posted by: joshjasper | May 18, 2015

Hold My Hand

I was driving to work when I heard Dick McGrane on Dubuque’s Super Hits 106.1 talking about the tragic fire that took place at Camp Albrecht Acres and the need for meat at the Dubuque Rescue Mission. He directed people to their respective websites and he quickly transitioned to some Hootie and the Blowfish. The guitar solo began and I waited for Hootie’s voice to break in while wondering if Dick meant to play this song after that news story.

“With a little love and some tenderness. We’ll walk upon the water, we’ll rise above the mess. With a little peace and some harmony, we’ll take the world together, we’ll take ’em by the hand. Cause I’ve got a hand for you…”

It was just the other day when we received a request for the community to support a woman who had became pregnant due to a sexual assault. I thought about it for a bit and suggested we organize a community baby shower for the mom. “This was going to be easy,” I thought. The community will most definitely respond in a very positive way for this woman. The baby shower is tomorrow and I would bet by bottom dollar that she will be absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of complete strangers.

It’s going to be like Jim all over again. Remember him? He’s the guy that lost his electricity three years ago due to his house burning to the ground and just a few months ago the community rallied behind him and got him back on his feet.My guess is that it’s going to take 2-3 carloads for this mom to get all of her presents back home.

Hootie’s lyrics are coming back to me now and I’m reminded about the last time I met with Jim. He was happy to receive the additional donations, but was most excited to see me and to meet my son Isaac….”with a little love and some tenderness, we’ll walk upon the water, we’ll rise above the mess. With a little peace and some harmony, we’ll take the world together, we’ll take ’em by the hand.”

The food, the clothes and of course getting the electricity turned back on were life changing for Jim, no question. But if you ever get the chance, ask him what meant the most and what helped him “rise above the mess.” He’ll tell you it was the personal contacts he made throughout the process.  Jim would talk about the hope that once again fills his heart, not the donations that fill his camper.

I can tell you with absolutely certainty that the woman who receives all of those gifts tomorrow during that baby shower will be overjoyed. It won’t make sense to her. She may feel a sense of support that she has never experienced before. My hope for her though is that she also receives what she most desperately needs.

Don’t get me wrong, the donations that Jim received and the gifts that this mom will get tomorrow are important. They’re critical. But they are not enough. She needs more. You know what she needs?

She’s needs a handful of Stacy Raap’s. Do you remember Stacy?

Maybe you remember the single mom with four kids that was living in their car on White Street. Once again, the community rallied beyond comprehension for this family. But something really special happened that I didn’t see coming. Stacy Raap happened. Stacy and a few other women became friends and mentors of this mom in need. They stayed long after myself and many others dropped off their donations. They helped her move forward and reminded her that she wasn’t going to be alone again. Ever.  I think those women saved that mom and those four kids lives. I really believe that.

“Yesterday, I saw you standing there. Your head was down, your eyes were red, no comb had touched your hair. I said get up and let me see you smile. We’ll take a walk together, walk the road awhile, cause…

Cause I’ve got a hand for you…Hold my hand.”

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