A viral Facebook post and the kindness of neighbors
“You become what you celebrate.” I heard someone say that a while back, and it’s always stuck with me. What we celebrate, we imitate. Individually and collectively, we orient our lives towards the things that we lift up as important and valuable.
At the Maker’s Place, we celebrate neighbors helping neighbors. Our mission is to be a catalyst for the kinds of generosity and mutuality that lead to abundant community. Back in early February, one of the families who came to receive diapers dropped off a highchair and baby bed. We gave air high-fives, warm smiles, and words of thanks as we accepted the donation. Ten minutes later, someone else came to receive diapers, and saw the free highchair: “Praise God! This is exactly what my family needs.” Another person took home the baby bed—“Perfect! My boy is almost a toddler!” she said.
I thought that was pretty great, so I posted a few pictures of the day on Facebook, celebrating the abundance in our Trenton community. I didn’t give it much more thought.
Before long, that Facebook post had 1400 views (which, for us, counts as going viral). And the next week and all the weeks following, donations from local families started flowing in. One family would drop off extra diapers. Others had formula their baby didn’t need—and could we use it for our new Formula Bank? We said, ‘Yes, of course!’ One mother decided she could share some extra groceries that month, even though she lived on a fixed income. It seems that every week, families will pick up diapers, and drop off food, clothing, furniture, and more. Why? Because you become what you celebrate.
Your mission in life might be slightly different than ours. Nevertheless, you become what you celebrate. For most of us, a quick inventory of our time, money, and actions reveals one of two critical issues: either we’re celebrating the wrong things—things that aren’t all that good, important, or valuable—or we’re not celebrating much of anything. We’re focused on what’s wrong, what we lack, what we don’t like. That’s why, at the Maker’s Place, we don’t want to focus overmuch on the spectacle of poverty, or only describe our community only in terms of what’s not working. Remember, what you celebrate, you tend to get more of. When we focus on the gifts, abilities, and assets already present in our Trenton community, we’re leaning into the best of who we already are, and the kind of people we want to become.
So, what are you celebrating? Where have you seen this principle at work? If you’ve got a moment, send me an email (michaelreed [at] makersplace.org) and tell me about it. Or, join in what we’re doing at the Maker’s Place by donating your resources or telling someone else about our work.
Talk to you soon, and all the best,
Pastor Michael and the Maker's Place team
New: Formula Depot
The Maker’s Place is excited to announce our new “Formula Depot” program, in partnership with Children's Futures. If you or someone you know would like help with free supplies of baby formula, go to makersplace.org/formula or call (609) 695-1977.
Volunteer with Us
Want to volunteer with the Maker's Place? We have outdoor and virtual volunteering opportunities at our "Diaper Depot". You can learn more through a new sign-up portal we're trying out called "Golden." Click here to start!
Looking for Diapers?
Looking for diapers for your family? We've got you covered. The Maker's Place "Diaper Depot" distributes free diapers to families with children in diapers. We have five mobile locations to pick up from. To receive diapers, click here.