Easy Ways to Help a Family in Need

When families are dealing with special needs, many of the basic chores of everyday life go from humdrum to hassle. As your friends, neighbours, and church members care for family members with special needs, take some time out of your week to offer a helping hand. Here are several ideas:

  • Offer to clean someone’s home on a regular basis for a predetermined length of time.
  • Arrange for meals to be brought to the home two or three nights a week.
  • Do something fun with one or more of the family members.
  • Offer to fill their car with petrol.
  • Take their car to have it washed and serviced.
  • Wash and fold their laundry.
  • Offer specialty services like garden care, cutting hair, or taking and collecting dry cleaning.
  • Have a family member give you a grocery list and do the family’s grocery shopping.
  • Offer to help with school-related needs: transportation, sports events, tutoring, and special projects.
  • Help out with pets: cleaning cages, washing dogs, taking pets to your home for a while, or feeding and cleaning up after pets.
  • Arrange appointments for medical or therapeutic needs; organize and design a family schedule.
  • Research the Internet for information, provide transportation, or attend local support groups with family members.
  • Put together a list of contacts willing to help in an emergency.
  • With the family’s permission, send notes or e-mails to others with updates and requests that they pray diligently, daily.
  • Give a nice gift, such as a journal or a basket of soothing bath supplies.

A note of caution: one common pitfall many people fall into when extending help to families with special needs has to do with expectations. All of us reasonably expect certain things from people in our everyday relationships, but as we extend loving care to families (such as in the ways mentioned above), we must not have any expectations . . . none. Do not expect to receive thank you notes, phone calls, special recognition, gifts, time, or any other type of positive regard or reward. Expectations damage the care-giving process and place an unnecessary burden on the recipient, so please leave expectations behind. Let the knowledge that you’ve done what God asked of you be your satisfaction.

Posted in Parenting, Pastors, Special Needs.

Colleen Swindoll Thompson holds a bachelor of arts degree in Communication from Trinity International University as well as minors in psychology and education. Colleen serves as the director of Reframing Ministries at Insight for Living Ministries. From the personal challenges of raising a child with disabilities (her son Jonathan), Colleen offers help, hope, and a good dose of humour through speaking, writing, and counselling those affected by disability. Colleen and her husband, Toban, have five children and reside in Frisco, Texas.

కొలీన్ స్విన్డాల్ థాంప్సన్ ట్రినిటీ ఇంటర్నేషనల్ విశ్వవిద్యాలయం నుండి కమ్యూనికేషన్‌లో బ్యాచిలర్ ఆఫ్ ఆర్ట్స్ డిగ్రీతో పాటు మనోవిజ్ఞానశాస్త్రము మరియు ఎడ్యుకేషన్లో అనుబంధ జ్ఞానం కలిగి ఉన్నారు. కొలీన్ ఇన్సైట్ ఫర్ లివింగ్ వద్ద రిఫ్రామింగ్ మినిస్ట్రీస్ డైరెక్టరుగా పనిచేస్తున్నారు. దివ్యాంగుడైన పిల్లవాడిని (ఆమె మూడవ బిడ్డ, యోనాతాను) పెంచే వ్యక్తిగత సవాళ్ళ దగ్గర నుండి, కొలీన్ సహాయం, నిరీక్షణ మరియు వైకల్యంతో బాధపడుతున్నవారికి మాటలతో, వ్రాతలతో మరియు సలహా ఇవ్వడంతో మంచి హాస్యాన్ని అందిస్తుంది. కొలీన్ మరియు ఆమె భర్త, టోబన్ కు ఐదుగురు పిల్లలు ఉన్నారు. వారు టెక్సాస్ లోని ఫ్రిస్కోలో నివసిస్తున్నారు.