Here to Serve

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We Build Communities

Here to Serve is focused on building meaningful communities that provide a safety net of compassion and care for the seriously ill. In the book, “Bowling Alone,” Robert Putnam shares that civil society is breaking down as Americans become more disconnected from their neighbors and communities.  Increasingly, Americans are placing less value on “civic” engagement and relationships with neighbors, family and friends.

Technology has increasingly turned our focus inward, away from meaningful face-to-face relationships with others in our community. We retreat daily to the privacy of our homes where we seek entertainment from an array of individualized technology options. More often than not, we get to know our neighbors through the blinds, forming our perceptions from afar.

At the point when our neighbor constructs a wheelchair ramp on the front of their home, we’re troubled and concerned. We want to help out, but we have no idea of how to help or what to even say. We lack the necessary social capital with our neighbor to easily step in to help them out.  Conversely, if the wheelchair ramp belongs to me or the loved one that I am caring for, that same lack of social capital prevents me from being able to ask for or accept the help that I need from my neighbors. Instead we seek paid or institutional alternatives for care, which does not come close to the depth and quality of care that a true community can provide.

Why We Exist

Cold, Hard Facts! 

In 2012, of the 315,062,000 U.S. population:

  • 1,683,910 individuals were diagnosed with cancer (13,460 were children 0-19 years of age) resulting in 577,190 deaths (a 34% mortality rate).  Cancer is the number 2 leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • 4,385 children or young adults between the ages of 0-35 suffered a heart attack and 1,460 result in death.  29,000 adults between the ages of 35 and 44 suffered a heart attack; 9,667 ended in death.  600 thousand people, or 1 in 4, die each year from heart disease. Heart Disease, which leads to heart attack, is the number one cause of death in the U.S.
  • Out of 4,058,000 births last year, 875,000 pregnancies experienced complications. There were 461,207 premature births in the U.S. and of those 26,412 ended in death. Hundreds of thousands of babies require further hospitalization to treat one or more life-threatening conditions including but not limited to: congenital malformations; deformations; chromosomal abnormalities (congenital malformations); low birth weight, maternal complications; respiratory distress; bacterial sepsis; circulatory system diseases; neonatal hemorrhage; cord and placental complications.
  • 1,203,564 violent crimes were committed in 2011, one every 26.2 seconds including one murder every 36 minutes, one forcible rape every 6.3 minutes, one robbery every 1.5 minutes and one aggravated assault every 42 seconds.  Of that amount 51% involve bodily injury requiring hospitalization and 16,799 result in death/homicide.
  • In 2011 there were 5,419,000 motor vehicle accidents; 1,542,000 resulted in injury and there were 32,310 deaths. A motor vehicle injury happens every 14 seconds and a death every 16 minutes.

There's a tremendous amount of people in medical crisis in our own neighborhoods!  If the medical crisis itself is not enough to cause tremendous strife, other risk factors can exponentially increase the physical and emotional strain families and caregivers experience including: being new to an area, a single parent or grandparent raising grandchildren, two-wage-earner families trying to survive financially, and those who do not speak English. Here to Serve knows what a difference an engaged community can bring to those in medical crisis, and we exist to build caring communities of people, businesses and organizations!