Only the lonely know how important it is to make friends when you are fairly new in town and started out without knowing another human soul. Making friends isn’t easy unless you know the ropes. You have to find some common ground. It could be a hobby, a club or organization, taking a class at the local community college, or joining a gym. Sometimes it takes more than one endeavor. Once you make contact, the rest can follow into place. Make sure you show up at least twice. One time and you are an oddity, twice or more and you have entered the friendship stream.
I went the volunteer route. There are so many fine groups with good causes to join and they welcome a fellow traveler. Once a member, there is plenty to do if you are serious about giving of your time. Over the long haul, you will find it a source of many new friends. Recently, I was personally enriched by joining forces with a local charity in my neighborhood. I had heard about it through the grapevine. Fundraising is not my forte, but I liked what I heard. The organization was going to renovate a foreclosed property to make it more energy efficient in order to sell it at a profit. The proceeds would go to the charity first and foremost. We would recoup some of our expenses first.
Renovation can take many turns. You can be ecologically minded if you replace dripping faucets and old kitchen appliances like the stove and refrigerator that eat up utilities. Since our project was a charitable one, we found some neighborhood vendors willing to donate the new appliances. They made sure to include energy efficient ones. They also helped out with the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom. Another vendor helped us make good progress with an energy saver toilet: two to be specific for the two bathrooms. This is a major step in the right direction. Finally, we tackled the fireplace. Most of the old ones don’t even know the meaning of the words “energy efficient.” We found a kind vendor who makes amazing fireplace inserts so we can update this area of concern. So this was not your usual run of the mill renovation project. Because it was for charity and the support we had garnered, we got a lot of media publicity. We had articles on the house with photos in the local paper. It got the public’s attention. We started to get more random donations. It was like manna from heaven. While we had hoped to make some profit on the house, getting new subscribers to our cause was a step in the right direction for our future. It is the man in the street that sustains charities for the most part. We could take on other renovation projects, but they are a lot of work and depend on the kindness of strangers as they say. Meanwhile, I have good times ahead with my new friends.