Letter 21 - You know what you should do?


A Letter From The Director

Are you ever having a conversation with someone and they enlighten you about a problem they are having or something they are working on?  
You get this quick idea in your head and you say… you know what you should do…?  
Then you proceed to provide them with your sage wisdom on how they can fix or make better whatever they are talking about?  Maybe it’s because you have experience in what they are going through, maybe you are hoping to provide them with a new train of thought, maybe you are just absentmindedly adding to the conversation…
What we don’t always realize is the “you should” statement instantly equates to adding some activity, no matter how big or small, onto someone’s plate.
Think about it: a friend says they are feeling stressed out and sluggish and you chime in… you should workout more and eat healthier… a relative laments about not having enough money… you should get a better job… a neighbor complains that their fence is old and rickety… you should install a new one… The “you should”s can add up quickly.
Without even thinking about it, “you should”s can increase stress to something already stressful.  If you throw out a “you should”, it should always be followed with a “here’s how I am going to help”.  Suggest a work out, and then ask when they would like to walk the lake with you and then go eat a healthy lunch.  Suggest a better job, and ask if they want help applying or a second pair of eyes on a resume.  Suggest a new fence, and ask what weekend they would like some extra hands to install it. 
Following up with “here’s how I am going to help”, instantly makes your suggestion more palatable, alleviates stress, shows caring, and a willingness to shoulder the burden with them.
Here at Parks and Recreation, you would be amazed by how many times we hear – “You know what you should do….”
- you know what you gotta try
- I was wondering if you have thought about
- you outta do
- I don’t understand why you haven't.... followed by X, Y, or Z
The X-Y-Z are what citizens and visitors think we should install, fix, provide, offer, maintain, make available, repair, restore, establish, create, arrange for…. Etc.  
We understand that these suggestions come from place of wanting to enhance what we are providing.  These suggestions are to better our community and quality of place.  These suggestions, intentionally or unintentionally, also come with heavy expectations and pressure to meet the needs and wants of a wide variety of user groups while working within the limited resources that we have.
So here is how you can help….. (now you see where I am going with this)
Time, money, and talent - we all have something we can give.
VOLUNTEER– grab your friends, family, coworkers, and come and lend a hand.  It can be for one day, one weekend, on-going, and year round.  Whether it is a painting project, coaching youth sports or Special Olympics, spreading mulch, helping out at our runs, playing with kids after school, we can always use the help.
MONEY  – we have more projects than we will ever have money for.  Donations and sponsorships are the major backbone to many of our projects.  The Longview Parks and Recreation Foundation has raised over $30,000 to help remodel the kitchen at our teen center.  Harlie’s Angels is working hard to install the Harlie's Hoops project which is a covered basketball court.  Many of our projects are made possible because of those in the community who see value in our programs and parks.
TALENT – we are grateful to work with the many businesses and organizations in town who have lent their expertise with in-kind labor and service donations at our youth sports fields, our special events, and our park projects.
The needs are plenty, the priorities are varied, and we get pulled in many directions...
The more people we can get to help out and get involved – the more people we can impact, the more we can accomplish, and the better our community will be.