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Ivan's Musings

"They Hardly Ever Do the Hula in El Paso" Some Reflections on True Goal Retrieval

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I remember trying to recruit church volunteers for regular, one-to-one visits with jail inmates. I wasn't having much luck, until I realized that my broader, "real" or "true" goal was not one-to-one visits. It was, instead, providing healthy outside contact and influence for inmates and possibly, too, friends outside when they did get out of jail. Once I realized this, it was easy to see that pairs or small groups of volunteers could visit with one inmate and achieve the same goal - maybe better. On that basis, I started getting plenty of volunteers. Good people who were probably somewhat uneasy about solo visits in an unfamiliar and quite threatening environment, could now stand "back to back," so to speak

I also remember a group trying unsuccessfully to get a grant to buy playground equipment for a community park. Finally getting un-fixated on the grant method - children can't play on grants - they realized that a combination of community fundraising and donated equipment might do the trick - and it did.