Times are tough and pink slips are being handed out every day and every Friday everywhere in the country. It’s depressing, it’s frightening and it’s time to plan a party! You can get together with your co-workers that have just received their pink slips along with you or you can post on your local site for other who have been laid off. Plan a time and a place big enough to hold all of you.
For the large group you can plan to meet at a park and bring your own non alcoholic drinks. For the smaller group meet at someone’s home. The purpose of the party is to come together in a common bond so you know you’re not alone. Next is to network about jobs available and how to help each other out.
For many there are going to be some needs right away. Discuss among the group ways of helping each other out. Someone may not have enough to pay the rent or mortgage this month. Mortgage can usually go a few months without eviction, but renters can be evicted within a week of a missed payment. If someone in the group is in this situation figure out how to help. You can find the money for them as a group or find a new place for them to live.
Many will need to consider roommates or combining families for a short while. Someone else will need food right away while others may have a few months of food in their own larder. This is the time to share and re-arrange what is needed for everyone who has lost their jobs. If you have the room and a trailer in your own yard consider letting another person or family have use of it for a short time for little cost or free. Share whatever food items you can and whatever money you can.
If you are planning a pink slip network party assign the task to someone of finding where services are available for help with utility bills, food handouts, clothing exchanges, car repairs and anything that can help the worker in need of a job. Check local libraries and ask what is available for computer training and skills awareness to improve the skills you already have. Find out if there are going to be any job fares in the area and the time and place.
While you are meeting for the party make a large list of people willing to trade skills or teach skills to others. It helps to promote a positive attitude and lessens the feeling of helplessness among those now out of work. Everyone can make a list of what others need and spend their own time trying to find items or needs from the list for the next pink slip meeting. Continue the meeting each week with information, exchange of services and any positive results to help keep everyone’s hope up.
Also spend time in friendship and moral support. Some people will handle the layoffs and job loss with a quick tear and move on while others will find themselves in trouble for the first time in their lives. They will be scared so go to them, listen and offer any advice or help you can. Everyone is in trouble right now and we’ll have to come together to make it through the next few years. As each day and each week passes the parties will replace those who have found jobs or just increase in size. Be prepared to hear the stories and help however each group can.
When groups become too large join in a effort to split into groups with a focus on certain needs. All groups will focus on getting everyone back to work, but others can focus on feeding everyone while another group focuses on needed medical care, transportation needs or living conditions. Each group will donate time and friendship and everyone will provide information through chosen members to each group to find the help needed.
By summer there will be tent cities starting to rise and many homeless living in cars with children trying to find a way to feed themselves and their families. If you have the means to grow a garden then plan for yourself and for the homeless to help feed those who do not have. Donate blankets, clothes and books. Donate friendship and help however you can. For many they will eventually live without utilities so stock up on candles and lanterns. Life will be hard, but as a group we can find ways to improve our own communities and find our way back to a livable lifestyle.