The Art of Being Helpful

Life and Happiness

Last week was an unbelievably busy week for me. I had two editing deadlines and was working on my own YA novel rewrites. In addition, I’m setting up an event for next year, and planning stuff with my DAR chapter. In the middle of all that craziness, I took time for two important projects/events.

First, Find A Grave community days were this past weekend. If you’re not familiar with Find A Grave, it’s a website that documents cemetery residents across the country. Basically it helps families find where their loved ones are buried. You can create your own Find A Grave page for a loved one if you know where they are buried – adding important details like birth, death and even places to add photos and obits. Then, if you don’t live close by, you can send out a request for someone to take a photo of the grave. That’s where I usually come in. We have a lot of wonderful cemeteries around where I live and I like helping out others. It’s also something I can count as community service in my DAR chapter.

So, on Thursday of last week, I went to my local borough office to inquire about the cemetery. Here in my town, the borough runs the cemetery. They mow the lawn and keep records, etc. Oh, the records they have! I’d love to just sit and look through some of them sometime! Dating back many, MANY years, these records helped me find all 31 photo requests for Find A Grave. But what made it even better was that the ladies at my borough office were so unbelievably kind in helping me find the info I needed.

Picture this: a HUGE cemetery and no direction of where to start looking for these “lost” graves. Now picture having a map of the cemetery in hand and a list of the names, including what block, plot and space number they are in. That’s right. These ladies took time out of their busy days to look up all the names on my list and notate where they were located in the cemetery. It cut my researching time more than in half! They were super nice about it to boot.

Second, on Friday, my friend and I went to a local HUGE craft fair. We parked along with hundreds of others in a field and went to find all our treasures. Several hours later, laden with packages, we walked back to the car. Except… we didn’t know where we parked it. Oops. Well, we had a general idea but spent twenty minutes scouring the area we thought it was before finding that allusive Matrix. Here I want to give a shout out to two helpful ladies who asked when we’d arrived. “10,” I told them. “Oh, we arrived around 9:30. You’d have to be behind our line at the very least.” We thanked them and narrowed our search. Then, we asked some of the parking folks their opinions. Although they weren’t super helpful, I told him where I thought we’d come in and he pointed to an area he supposed we were parked. He was right and we found the car.

So this week, I want to look for ways that I can assist others in some way as these folks assisted me. I want to go out of my way to be helpful, or make helpful suggestions or just simply point someone in the right direction. I hope you will consider how you can be helpful to someone else this week, too. If you do, please let me know in the comments below!


3 thoughts on “The Art of Being Helpful

  1. That was so kind of them. I’d bet that the families of the deceased were very glad to have pictures of their graves as well! What a nice gesture on your part.

    I will be taking on your challenge, although I’m not sure what I’ll be doing for it yet.

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