We are There…
March 4, 2019

We Are There

“I’ll be all around in the dark – I’ll be everywhere. Wherever you can look – wherever there’s a fight, so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready, and when the people are eatin’ the stuff they raise and livin’ in the houses they build – I’ll be there, too.”

Tom Joad, Grapes of Wrath : John Steinbeck

It might seem a little sensationalistic, but at “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”, a Program of GTKYF Foundation Inc. we are essentially committed to that principle of being there for people.

Why did Tom Joad say this? What did he mean?

Throughout American history, there’s been the concept of the rugged individual. It has taken many forms – but in Steinbeck’s America, an America under siege by corporate interests and powerful forces that the beleaguered migrant families could not fully understand, that individual was a force for good, a protector and a help to the common person – a little bit like Robin Hood.

It might seem a little sensationalistic, but at “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” a program of GTKYF Foundation Inc, we are essentially committed to that principle of being there for people. From Colorado to Pennsylvania and around the country, GTKYF Foundation Inc through “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” is there, promoting the principles that we stand for – the protection and well-being of our food, farms, families and freedoms.

We need a return to the kinds of American ingenuity and determination that have made this country great – a return to common sense values and community building, a return to vibrant small business models and local manufacturing bases. But we aren’t going to get there without people helping people.

The corporate scene is fine with the isolation of the American experience. They need people to be in their little boxes, and dependent on corporate networks for everything they own and use, and everything they need to survive.

At “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”, we reject that approach. We want to build grassroots sustainable capabilities in our neighborhoods and communities. We want to see people helping people without sticking to the confines of the corporate world’s strict requirements on things like charity, compassion and trust.

That’s why we chose the quote from Steinbeck’s immortal character Tom Joad, a character who has been used throughout the past generations to illustrate American grit and hard work, determination and tenacity in the face of strong and powerful interests that want to keep a few up, and the rest of us down.

All of our programs – our advocacy hotlines and our sharing libraries and our trades programs and training programs, all add up to one thing. They’re an investment in the community. They’re an investment in the idea that people are inherently good and productive, that the “common people” deserve everything that they can get in this late-stage capitalist landscape, and that for those who are being honest, some of these “little people” are the best people around: the tireless firefighter, the compassionate teacher, and the guy who rolls up the carts at your local grocery store every night for forty years.

When we show up and help a family who has opened up the oven or resorted to space heaters to try to heat their home – when we help a senior citizen who’s stranded amongst his or her personal possessions – when we diagnose a water or sewer problem or wrangle chickens or cows or help with gardening and getting small local businesses set up – we’re doing that in commitment to the ideals that we stand for. Help us with your own natural resources – your tools and your vehicles and your grit and determination – or with some of the money that you’ve earned as a career professional.

Together, we can change things – if you’re fed up with the way that government and business forces control your life, you don’t have to just put up with it. We the people are a force to be reckoned with. If you don’t believe it, just show up and try your hand at some of our programs and see these principles in action.

As Tom Joad said:

“A fellow ain’t got a soul of his own, just little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody…”

Or, in other words, we can cultivate our own personal souls, but when we neglect the soul of the community – nothing good crops up in that empty space!

Let our Neighbors Helping Neighbors program help you if you need it – or if you have something to offer, come to us and help us to better our communities. If you don’t do it – no one else will. Be a team captain for the people. It will enrich your life and reward you in so many ways. Trust us – we know.

This Article originally published at:

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