On my way home tonight after speaking to a social justice group about homelessness in Clackamas County, I started thinking about all the great people I’ve met through LoveOne. There’s probably a book in there somewhere. Anyway, my favorite part of talking about what we do is the WHY - putting names and faces and stories to the numbers. Making it personal and relatable. Which made me think about balloons. 🎈
Last week I messaged one of our neighbors to ask if they needed a specific resource I had come across. They let me know that they didn’t have a need for that at the moment, but that they had a surprise for me and would bring it to laundry on Tuesday.
On Tuesday I was driving home and saw this same neighbor at a bus stop waiting to catch a ride to the laundromat. The light turned red and I ended up stopped right next to them. I rolled down the window and we chatted for a few minutes. Next to them, strapped to the top of their wagon, was what looked like a tangle of balloons. They pointed proudly at the balloons and told me they’d made it for me and that I could see it when I got to laundry. I felt so very loved.
Later that evening I arrived at laundry and was handed a big balloon heart made out of woven pink balloons, complete with a bunch of red balloon roses in the center. It was beautiful! I didn’t even notice that some of the pink balloons had popped. The neighbor did though, and asked to have the heart back so they could fix it, which they did sitting outside in the cold, carefully blowing up and weaving together new balloons. It wasn’t long before it was as good as new. ❤️
I proudly drove around with that balloon heart on my front seat the rest of the week and now it’s in my house. That balloon heart represents more than just a creative art project. It represents relationship. Friendship. Caring. Kindness. Community. My neighbor took the time to make me a balloon masterpiece, strap it to their wagon and carefully haul it to the bus stop, keep it safe on the bus, and wheel it to the laundromat. Quite possibly, that balloon heart is the best Valentine’s Day gift I’ve ever received. 🎈
These are my people. This is my community.