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Harnessing the Compulsion to Help

One of the most rewarding parts of our time at SBP has been witnessing human connection - that compulsive pull to help people when they need it. We’ve seen hundreds of thousands of instances over the past 14 years when people come from all over the world to help other people who they have never before met.

Now, facing COVID -19, this new and solvable challenge, we’ll need to harness that compulsion to help in a different way. In the past, help meant leaving home, being with others and physically rebuilding homes. It’s physically and emotionally gratifying to build something. That is how we fortified people against their breaking point.

Now, we’ll need to channel the desire to help in a different and, in many ways, harder way. Staying home may not bring the same immediate rewards: you can’t see a wall built or cabinets installed; you can’t work with people you’ve never met to install drywall over your head; you can’t see the face of a grandmother, relieved beyond words to finally sleep in her own bed again. But staying home brings a different reward: a grandson who sleeps well at night because his grandmother is not going to be infected by COVID-19; an ER doctor, who does not need to ration healthcare; a parent who knows she's done everything possible to keep her family safe.

Staying home is difficult, but it is only one of the tools in our arsenal. At SBP, we’re using this time to go deep on issues that have vexed us in the past: how to become a zero-waste organization; how to optimally communicate with various segments of volunteers; what types of building supplies can we up-cycle. You can take this approach with challenges your company or organization faces. Or, you can reach out to SBP and see what sort of brain-work you can do with us.

SBP cares deeply about communities and now, no doubt, many communities are in need. One additional way to help is to think through who in your community can’t work. There will be Kickstarter and GoFundMe campaigns and your local community foundation will likely have thoughts, too. If you’d like, our team can help any of you find local ways to help those in need in your community.

When the threat of COVID-19 passes, SBP will be right back at it - fortifying people against their breaking point. We’ll be raring to go, smarter and more innovative than before - having used our time staying home/at home intentionally.

Together, there is no doubt, we will get through this.