August 05, 2008
Well, it’s interesting that Spiritual Care really is not-so spiritually based. Restrictions regarding the use of certain words or phrases, not offering prayers, and leaving religion out of the conversation confused me at first.
Even ringing doorbells came with a code of conduct: Ring once, step away from door at least three feet. Most of the time this meant stepping back off the porch and onto the sidewalk to wait. Hands should be folded in front of you or clearly visible if you are carrying something. Our identifiers were a Wisconsin Disaster Recovery t-shirt, and a large name tag.
Questions we could ask:
Did your home have flood damage?
Has the damage been repaired?
Do you have mold in your home or has it been checked for mold?
Do you have insurance?
Have you applied for FEMA or county assistance?
Do you have anyone to help you? Friends, family, neighbors, church?
If you would like our assistance, may we take your name and phone number?
Our team of three covered approximately 70 residences on Friday. The previous day was covered by a large group of volunteers whom together covered approximately 250 residences. Cars were driven to a neighborhood, where the canvassing was done on foot from home to home. Each stop was documented on a note card or a list. In addition to the address, we summarized the results: Not home, Not interested, Needs help, Knows someone who needs help. Information we handed out included FEMA and county contacts. FEMA was set to leave Fond Du Lac within two weeks which made our contact semi-urgent. It would be much easier for residents to communicate with FEMA while the agency was still physically in Wisconsin.
It eventually occurred to me that the spiritual care implied comes from us; how we handle ourselves and our responsibilities. Balancing legitimate concern with tender care and complicated information with patient explanations were our real tasks. It helped that we were equipped with a huge booster. The youngest missionary on our team was 10 years old. She untiringly toted pamphlets, took notes, and walked from house to house ringing doorbells and offering her marvelous smile to anyone who answered. The previous day’s Spiritual Care team, said that they believed the reason so many doors were opened to them was because of her presence. After seeing her in action, I would have to agree.
Posted by jaselin at August 5, 2008 01:07 PM