Life hack

How to support friends’ projects

Friendships are ongoing projects that you keep working on day in and day out. Some have lasted you through the years and some are brand new. Whatever the case, we are all in agreement that as time passes, life complicates everything — especially friendships. You find yourself working harder to maintain a relationship due to living in different cities or having drastically different careers. No matter how hard you try, it can be tough to bridge the gaps.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that I’ve been having a harder time maintaining my friendships. Some fizzled out naturally and some have become strained due to my lack of attentiveness. I’ve quickly tried to remedy this and have seen some serious results. Turns out that being a supportive friend in your late 20s is not that hard — you just have to want to make a change. And I did. Because I don’t want to end up fabulously living a life of amazingness without my friends by my side.

If you find yourself struggling to keep up with the friendships in your life, this article is for you. These are some of the steps I’ve committed to, and they have paid off. Sure, they seem a little obvious at times, but you will find that even obvious things are hard to do when you have bills and a job to worry about. Your first step should be realizing that you need to step up more. The amount of effort you put into anything will yield a healthy friendship in time. Until then, try your best to follow these steps and hopefully become a more supportive friend in your 20s.

Make Time For Your Friends

This means you need to consciously make room in your day for your friends. Make Skype dates, phone calls. Texting is awesome, but you need some face-to-face with your best friend for them to know that you have their backs no matter what. Support is not just showing up — support is showing up when they didn’t even know they needed you.

Write Down Important Things

If your friend mentions something big is coming up during your conversations, write it down. Keep it logged so that you can remember to give them a call or send them some flowers. Little things like that can make someone’s day.

Listen, Listen, And Listen Some More

Become the best listener ever. If you have neglected your friends, the way back into their lives is to absorb all the info you missed. Take this time to catch up with your friends thoughts, ideas and live events. I always feel very supported when a friend just lets me vent to them for a while.

Be There When They Really Need You

That means taking everything you have been doing and applying it in real life. Job interview went sour? Your friend broke up with their significant other? Parents fighting? Whatever the cause, you should be there for them in their time of need. That also means being there to celebrate their success.

Don’t Cancel Plans Last Minute, Even When You Just Want To Sleep

Cardinal rule of being a supportive friend is not being a flake. It might seem like a casual hangout to you, but your friend might have something important to talk about and baling on them is not cool. Come. Through.

Push Them To Be Their Best

You want to be the one pushing your friends to be the best version of them they can be. Don’t push too hard — they have enough pressure on them as it is — but do your job. If you see your friend slacking or feeling lost, have a conversation. Sometimes support means tough love.

Celebrate Their Accomplishments

Your life can be in shambles, but you still need to celebrate your friend’s happiness. That doesn’t mean neglecting your own, but it does mean that you have to find a part of yourself that is in no way jealous of your friend’s success.

Back Them Up

Sometimes your friends are wrong. Like — yelling at a bouncer at 4 a.m. wrong. But you need to back them up (or at the very least, not give them crap for it). That’s support.

Remind Each Other How Valuable The Friendship Is

Little nice surprises and “this made me think of you” gifts will make your friend’s whole week. Once in a while. We aren’t made of money (yet).

Help Them Move

The first cardinal rule of supporting your friend is helping them move. You know why? Because you can only survive that with a true friend.

Support Their Budding Relationships

This one is a tough one. Supporting a relationship usually means having your friendship suffer. Being a true supportive friend in your 20s means letting your friend be in a relationship. Listen to the problems, help fix them, and watch as your friendship blossoms — yes, even if they’ve got a new main squeeze in their life. Because no matter how long that squeeze lasts, your friendship is going to last forever.

How to support friends' projects

Image by Bailey Mariner © The Balance

Just as you would send a friend a thank you note or email for lending a hand or doing you a favor, it’s also a kind gesture to send a quick note to colleagues who help with something work-related.

Whether it’s a coworker or someone you manage, a note of appreciation is always welcome. Your thank you note does not need to be formal or lengthy—just make sure it includes your gratitude.

If you want to do something extra special—and if it’s appropriate in your company—you can copy the person’s manager on the note.

That way, the manager (who most likely has the power to give raises, bonuses and promotions) is aware of your colleague’s help as well.

How to Write Your Thank You Note

Depending on the circumstances, you might want to send a card or note by mail to thank your colleague for the help he or she gave you on a project. This can be a nice touch.

A card to put on a bulletin board or desk is a lasting reminder of appreciation, and also serves as a hard copy record for the person’s files. If you are handwriting your note, remember to include the date on the top right side of the note.

Email is also a perfectly fine way to express appreciation. However you decide to send your thanks, your letter will contain the same elements.

What to Include


You should begin with a salutation. Depending on your relationship, you might choose “Dear” or “Hi” since this is an informal note between colleagues. As in all business correspondence, don’t use abbreviations or slang. The note can be informal, but all work-related correspondence needs to maintain a professional tone.

Body of Email or Note

The body of your letter should mention a few ways that the person’s expertise was valuable to your project—you can mention how much you appreciate the time the person took out of his or her busy schedule to offer assistance.


In your closing, it’s always nice if you can offer to reciprocate in some way. Otherwise, you can just share your gratitude and pleasure about having the opportunity to work with the person on this particular project.

Sample Thank You Letters for Help With a Project

Here are sample email messages or letters that thank an employee for help with a project. Use these examples as a guideline when creating your own letter or message, and include specific details about how the person helped out.

Thank You Letters for Help With a Project #1

Subject: Thank You

Thank you very much for offering your assistance on the upcoming Human Resources project. I really appreciate your willingness to help out outside your current position.

It is helpful to have someone who has had experience with similar issues on previous projects to offer guidance and direction. I know HR is happy to have you assisting in this matter.

Let me know if you need anything from me. I can make someone available to help your team out while you spend a few days with the Human Resources staff.

Sample Thank You Letters for Help With a Project #2

Subject: Thanks for Your Assistance!

I wanted to thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to help the Finance department get the year-end accounting completed.

I know the work wasn’t part of your normal responsibilities, but your assistance was invaluable in helping my department get everything done in a very timely manner.

Your expertise and enthusiasm were both appreciated during a time which can be stressful for all concerned!

We sincerely appreciate your efforts and thank your manager as well for sharing some of your schedule with the Finance department.

cc: James Bridgton

Handwritten Card Sample

Thank you so much for coming in all those extra hours last week to help me get the new shop set up. I can’t believe how much more space we have for display, and the new kitchen is going to make it so much easier to meet the demand for wedding cakes this summer!

You are always such a help, and I appreciate your support in every way. I am so happy to have you as my assistant, and I’m looking forward to working with you as we move into the next phase with our growing business.

There’s nothing wrong with being independent, but there’s nothing wrong with seeking assistance either. Jennifer Bridges, PMP, shows you how to ask for help with a project, and why some people don’t ask at all.

Here’s a screenshot of the whiteboard for your reference.

How to support friends' projects

In Review – How to Ask for Help on Your Projects

Jennifer started by saying that everyone knows what it’s like to need help. Not everyone, though, knows how to ask for help.

There are many scenarios when asking for help can be challenging. Jennifer listed those that are most common:

  • Maybe you’re new to the project and are unfamiliar with protocol.
  • There might be new policies or regulations that you’re unaware of.
  • There’s a new scope to the project that hasn’t been fully explained.
  • If there’s new software, apps, tools or any kind of technology, it can involve a learning curve.
  • Management changes, such as a new boss or team leader, makes asking for help awkward.
  • The vision can change without your knowledge, so you don’t understand the context.

Why Don’t People Ask for Help?

There are many barriers that prevent people from asking for help. While sometimes it might not be appropriate, mostly the hurdles to clear are of your own making. Jennifer listed some of the more obvious ones:

  • You fear that what you’re going to ask is dumb or makes you look weak or lost, as if you don’t know what you’re doing.
  • Not knowing the right questions to ask can stymie the path towards help.
  • The work environment might not be supportive (or even intimating), and questions aren’t tolerated.
  • Maybe you’re new and have no idea who the right person to ask is, or there might not even be anyone available for you to ask.
  • Coworkers and managers might be pressed for time, and it feels as if it would be an imposition to ask them for help.

How to Ask for Help

There are many reasons why a person doesn’t ask, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t ask. There are ways that make it okay to ask for help. Jennifer noted a handful:

  • Start somewhere. Just bring the question to someone: say that you have a question to break the ice, and take it from there.
  • Begin with a specific question. Don’t pad it with a long intro—get right to the point, and add the details afterwards.
  • You can take the initiative and try to answer the question yourself by doing a Google search; maybe there’s a company portal or some other help center to use as a resource, too.
  • Before you have to ask for help, know the people you can approach to ask for help, so when the question arises you have a go-to person.
  • There’s also the idea of trade-off, that is if you help someone then they can help you.

Pro-Tip: Whether you’re on the team or leading it, there are ways to enable your team to help. Draw the team in by planning collaboratively. Make it clear that asking for help is okay, and sharing responsibilities is a good start.

Take it Further: If you work in somewhat of a hostile environment, or just struggle with confidence, then read some tips on how to stand up for yourself at work.

Thanks for watching!


Today, we’re talking about how to ask for help on your project. Well, we’ve all been there and here are some scenarios that people encounter where they have questions.

First of all, they could be new to a project, they could be the new person to an existing project or they could be starting a new project.

Maybe there are some new policies or regulations influencing or impacting the project.

There could be some new scope that’s been introduced and maybe hasn’t been explained fully.

There may also be new software, some kind of app, some kind of tools or technology being used for the project.

Also, maybe a new country, several people travel for work on their projects, and they go to different countries or different areas of a country, maybe a new culture or even a different language.

Also may encounter a new boss, a new manager or leader.

And sometimes with projects or initiatives, the vision changes, so when the vision changed that invokes a lot of questions.

So why don’t people ask?

Well, I think the number one reason most people don’t ask is because they’re afraid. They’re afraid that they may be looking dumb or weak or lost.

Number two. They don’t know the questions to ask. Sometimes when there are things that are new, you just don’t really have a bearing or a reference to even know the questions.

Also, they work in an intimidating environment, sometimes there is a situation where with the environment, people feel intimidated to ask. Maybe they’re made to feel wrong or crazy or dumb or weak or lost.

Number four. This is new to everyone, so there’s really no one to ask.

And number five. Maybe they’re pressed for time and they have to make quick decisions so there’s no time to ask.

So, how to ask? Well, first of all, I want to make it clear that it’s okay to ask for help. So here are just a few tips and reminders.

Number one. Start somewhere. If you feel like you don’t know what question to ask, just start somewhere and say, “Hey, I have a question.” And just pause. At least get yourself in a discussion with someone to let them know that you do have questions.

And therefore, you can work it from there. Maybe you say, “I don’t really understand the scope of this project. I don’t really understand why we’re doing this or how we’re going to get there.” But at least get yourself started.

Number two. State your specific question and then fill in the blanks. Sometimes people go into these elaborate stories, talking about so many different things and the person listening or the person you’re trying to ask the question to…they don’t really understand the question.

The question is the last thing you ask. So we recommend you flip it to the front. So ask your question, then, maybe fill in details if they’re necessary.

Number three. Take initiative. Do some work. Like right now there are tools like Google. You can do some research on your own. Maybe, there’s a company portal or project portal or some kind of help section or maybe even form. There’re a lot of online forms these days where you can go look. At least have somewhere to start.

Number four. Know your go-to people. A lot of times in groups, organizations, and projects, they’re the people who just seem to have…they have the pulse on everything. So know who to go to for certain things.

Also, be willing to trade off. I submit that sometimes someone’s weakness is someone else strength. So you can say, “Well, I can help you with this area, if you can help me with that one.” And sometimes that works out really well.

How to support friends' projects

I noticed something recently. People, for the most part, don’t share their friends’ “work.” By work I don’t mean 9-to-5 day job type stuff, I mean their passion projects. I feel like most people only share articles, pictures, and videos from well established websites. I guess these are “safe to share” because they are popular and are coming from trusted sources. But why don’t we promote our friends more?

I’ve launched quite a few projects and the lack of reaction can be incredibly difficult to deal with emotionally. You spend months pouring your heart and soul into a project. Then you launch it to the world and nothing really happens… Maybe a few people like it, and you might get a comment but that’s about it.

I’m not expecting my friends will like everything I do. My ideas might not even be that good. What I find interesting is this:

Friends will tell me offline how much something I did meant to them, but online I get little or no reaction.

I’ve never directly asked my friends about this, but I find it strange. To me, talking in person about a project, is similar to commenting on it online. The only real difference I can see is that talking offline can be little more private.

Perhaps it has to do with culture. In the tech, geek, and social media, circles it is common to promote other people’s work. I always see people posting something like “check out this amazing project my friend is doing!” People are constantly sharing projects, posts or ideas that move them. But outside these groups I don’t see much of that going on.

Maybe it’s because people outside of the tech space don’t understand the importance of a share or like. It acts as a form of promotion. Every time you share or comment on a friend’s work, you are letting other people know this is something worth paying attention to.

Sharing and commenting also validates the creator and their work. When you launch something into the world you can feel incredibly vulnerable and knowing that someone, anyone, cares is comforting.

Yes, you can always support your friend in person (and you should), but this doesn’t spread their idea to other people. We live in an attention economy where ideas that spread win. So if you want your friend to succeed, you should support them, and share their work.

In the spirit of this post here is some cool stuff my friends are doing:

Victor recently launched a beautiful book about rethinking education.

Ilan is running a festival of experimental theater and performance in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Colin wrote a book to get you to act accordingly.

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

How to support friends' projects

Friends and family remain the best shot that many entrepreneurs have to raise outside money to launch a business.

In 2010, 5% of U.S. adults polled said they had provided funding to someone starting a business in the past three years, according to a survey by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, a research consortium which includes Babson College. Of those respondents, 32% said the funding went to a friend or neighbor, 26% to a close family member, 11% to some other relative and 8% to a work colleague.

While preserving important personal relationships with people who fund your business can be a daunting prospect, clearly some entrepreneurs have figured it out. If you’re thinking about asking friends and family for seed money, here are five tips for doing it right.

1. Choose a strategy.
Do you want to solicit large chunks of money from a few investors, or small amounts from many?

There’s less pressure associated with small sums. “You’re less likely to ruin a relationship over $25,” says Cornelius McNab, founder of Atlanta-based, which facilitates friends-and-family loans and gifts. Most of the site’s fundraisers target a few dozen people for sums between $100 and $500 apiece.

But typically only 10% to 20% percent people asked will contribute. So if you want to raise, say, $5,000 at $100 per backer, you’ll need to woo 50 people. This means reaching out to 250 to 500 people.

Contacting a smaller, more targeted group for larger sums may require more gumption and planning upfront, it could be easier for the time-strapped.

San Francisco entrepreneur James Lee raised more than $1 million from friends and relatives in 2008 for his venture He sat down to casual meetings, often over coffee, with 15 people and persuaded 10.

2. Choose an investment type.
When you accept money from others, strings will be attached, no matter how you structure the transaction.

Consider whether you want to accept and pay back loans, have your friends and family own an equity stake, or offer up a token of thanks — say, some amount of free access to your product or service in exchange for a gift.

If you take on investors, you may have to give up a portion of your company, and perhaps make one or more board members. Even friends and family will want a return, which can mean eventually selling the company, buying back shares or paying dividends.

Loans have to be paid back on schedule, which can have an impact on cash flow and profitability. If you go the microfunding route, you could be juggling 50 of them.

Even gifts aren’t free of strings. If you do accept them, thank the giver profusely in writing and acknowledge that the money is a gift rather than an investment or promissory note, says Denise Beeson, who teaches small-business management at Santa Rosa Junior College in California. “Just think if you gave Bill Gates some start-up funds. Would you want, after the fact, a return on your money? You bet,” she says.

3. Write down your pitch.
Unless your friends and family are professional investors, they probably don’t want to read a 50-page business plan. More likely, they’ll prefer to sit down with you over coffee and hear you explain your idea, as Lee did.

Lee says that because his backers were people who knew him well and “were essentially investing in me,” they didn’t require a business plan.

To avoid being too informal, McNab suggests drawing up a five- to 10-page document that sums up what you want to do, how you’ll do it and what you’ll apply the money toward. Such a summary ensures you’ve made important disclosures, such as the key challenges, risks and competition the business faces, and that your backers understand what their money is going toward.

4. Keep your documents and communications business-like.
When you’re dealing with people you know well, it’s easy to want to keep agreements informal out of concern that official documents might make things feel less friendly. But don’t be too casual.

If you don’t want to involve a lawyer (but if equity is involved, you should), you may want to consider trying websites such as 40billion, Caplinked or LendingKarma that can help you structure, document and manage investments from friends and family.

5. Manage expectations.
Another upside of bringing in friends and family is that they are typically more patient than professional investors. “When we failed at plan A and at plan B, these people weren’t looking for our heads,” Lee says.

It’s a good idea to send a monthly email update to your backers, even if they’ve given money as a gift, says McNab. Lee, for example, makes a point of reaching out to all of his backers informally about once a month by email, phone or get-togethers.

Be honest about what’s going well and what could be better. You might want to raise more money later, and it can be easier if your backers have been able to watch your progress. “I’ve seen people ask for and get more from their backers in later rounds,” McNab says.

If things aren’t going well, friends who have a stake in your success are more likely than others to provide the advice, contacts or referrals you need to turn things around. Says McNab, “These are the people who will try to help you if they can.”

How to support friends' projects

A University of Washington study has found that social dynamics affect student performance on group projects.

It has become an almost essential element of academic life, from college lecture halls to elementary classrooms: the group assignment.

Dreaded by some, loved by others, group projects typically aim to build teamwork and accountability while students learn about a topic. But depending on the assignment and the structure of the groups, a project can turn out to be a source of great frustration — for instructor and students alike — or the highlight of the school year.

Now a University of Washington-led study of college students has found that the social dynamics of a group, such as whether one person dominates the conversation or whether students work with a friend, affect academic performance. Put simply, the more comfortable students are, the better they do, which yields benefits beyond the classroom.

“They learn more,” explained Elli Theobald, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biology and the lead author on the study, published July 20 in PLOS ONE. “Employers are rating group work as the most important attribute in new recruits and new hires. If students are able to demonstrate that they have worked successfully in groups, it would seem that they should be more likely to land the job.”

Theobald is part of the UW’s Biology Education Research Group lab, formed by several faculty members in the Department of Biology about a decade ago to research how to most effectively teach biology to undergraduates.

A separate study by the BERG lab on group work, published in the July issue of Active Learning in Higher Education, finds that college students, when given a choice of whom to sit and work with in a large classroom setting, gravitate toward those who appear most like them — whether by gender, race and ethnicity, or academic skills.

Over the years, research spanning K-12 through post-secondary education has pointed to the value of group work in fostering collaborative skills and in cementing learning through interaction. In the sciences, labs are a common, though not the only, form of group work, Theobald said. As with many disciplines, STEM fields lend themselves to readings, worksheets and other activities that can be completed by multiple people working together.

For this study, researchers compared survey responses and test scores stemming from two different project styles — single-group and “jigsaw” — with three assignments each during two sections of an introductory biology class at the UW. Each of the 770 students enrolled in one of the two sections of the course experienced each project style at least once. In a single-group activity, student groups completed a worksheet together, relying on their notes and textbooks. In a jigsaw, student groups were assigned specific sections of the worksheet; students then were shuffled to new groups in which each person in the group had completed a different section of the worksheet and could teach their new groupmates what they had learned. Students took an eight-question test after each assignment.

The study found that students who reported a “dominator” in the group fared worse on the tests than those who didn’t express that concern. It also found that students who said they were comfortable in their group performed better than those who said they were less comfortable.

The jigsaw activity appeared to result in more collaboration: Students were 67 percent less likely to report a dominator in jigsaws than in single-group activities. “This suggests that jigsaw activities with intentional structure more effectively promote equity than group activities with less intentional structure,” researchers wrote.

The nearly 770 students who completed all the assignments, tests and surveys had formed two- and three-person groups with those who sat near them in class. (Jigsaw assignments later shuffled initial groups.) Two-thirds of participants were female; people of color, including students who identify as Asian, Under-Represented Minority, and International, made up more than half of respondents.

While the gender and racial and ethnic makeup of the participants informed the study, Theobald said, researchers don’t have details on who worked with whom so as to extrapolate from the composition of groups. For instance, were the experiences of women who worked with men different from those of women who worked in all-female groups? If a group contained only one person of color, what was that person’s experience compared to the rest of the group? That kind of information is ripe for further research, Theobald said.

However, one noticeable data point emerged: International and Asian American students were six times as likely to report a dominator than white American students. “Not all students experience group work the same way,” researchers wrote in the study. “If one student dominates a conversation, it can be particularly jarring to students from cultural backgrounds that place more emphasis on introspection and thinking on one’s own as opposed to a direct relationship between talking as a way to work through ideas.”

Though the data was collected from college students, the findings translate to other settings, Theobald said. She pointed to a study Google conducted to determine what made groups successful — establishing group routines and expectations (“norms”) and adding a brief window at the beginning of work time for casual talk. Such findings, along with those of the UW study, can inform employers as well as K-12 teachers about productive group work, she said.

The younger the students, the more structure a teacher is likely to have to establish, Theobald added. But when teachers make an assignment sufficiently interesting and complex, and manage student behavior, there is a potential for students to work together happily and productively.

“If we can get our groups to be more comfortable, students should learn better and work better,” Theobald said.

The National Science Foundation funded the study.

Co-authors on the paper were Alison Crowe, principal lecturer in biology, and Benjamin Wiggins, faculty coordinator for biology instruction, both at the UW; Sarah Eddy of Florida International University; and Daniel Grunspan of Arizona State University.

Learn 15 actionable ways to support a friend who is grieving.

How to support friends' projects

How to support friends' projects

Cami Renzoni is a creative writer and editor for The Recovery Village. As an advocate for behavioral health, Cami is certified in. read more

How to support friends' projects

Paula H. Cookson is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist and freelance writer who lives and works in midcoast Maine. She. read more

Grief can feel incredibly lonely and overwhelming. When someone you know loses a loved one, they need your love and support more than ever. If you are wondering how to help a grieving friend, there are many simple ways to show compassion during their time of need.

The Do’s

It can be challenging to know what to say to someone grieving . The fear of saying the wrong thing could make you avoid trying to help, but there is no one particular way to help someone through grief. By being open, compassionate and willing to help, your presence will offer support.

For insight on comforting someone who’s lost a loved one to suicide, read this article from The Recovery Village.

1. Check in on them

Make an effort to check in with your friend, even if it is a quick phone call, a card or an invitation to grab a coffee together. You might be surprised how much your check-ins mean to a friend who is grieving.

2. Understand the grieving process

As your friend navigates the many difficult emotions that grief can bring, it is important to have a general understanding of grief . People who are grieving experience sadness, depression, anger and anxiety commonly. Additional symptoms can include physical challenges such as digestive issues, sleep disturbance and fatigue, among others. As you take time to learn about the grief process, how you can support your friend in meaningful ways will become more apparent.

3. Listen more, talk less

When you are in the presence of someone who is grieving, it is often difficult to know what to say. Your natural tendency may be to try to make your friend feel better, but in a situation such as grief, no amount of talking will help.

Be sure to pay attention to the amount of talking you are doing compared to the amount of listening. Your friend will benefit more from talking about their feelings than anything else. Listen to their thoughts and feelings and express compassion for what they are experiencing in their grief process.

4. Let them cry

One of the most important aspects of the grieving process is the ability to express deep sadness and allow oneself to cry. Letting your friend cry shows them that you understand that crying is an important part of the grief process.

It may be tempting to try to cheer your friend up or tell them not to cry, but remember, it is an important part of grief and healing. Often when people are discouraged from crying it is a reflection of the discomfort others have about witnessing that amount of pain. Think about the tears as a necessary part of the healing journey.

5. Ask questions

Often people are hesitant about asking questions of a friend who is grieving, for fear of upsetting them or saying the wrong thing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as it allows your friend to talk about their loved one openly. If you’re not sure what to ask or how, some grief discussion questions can help guide the way.

Check in on your friend’s self-care, such as how they are sleeping and if they are getting enough to eat. Venture into how they are feeling emotionally and listen with compassion and care. Remember, you don’t have to fix anything — there is nothing you can do to make your friend’s pain go away — but your presence and compassion can make a world of difference.

6. Offer practical help

Grief can cause you to neglect your own basic needs at times. Offering practical help can be a lifesaver when your friend is struggling to navigate the tasks of life while grieving. It may surprise you just how beneficial these practical tasks can be:

  • Running errands
  • Cleaning their house
  • Cooking for them
  • Offering to help with childcare
  • Offering to help manage or coordinate bills
  • Helping with laundry

7. Be willing to sit in silence

Grief ushers in a variety of strong emotions, and sometimes a grieving person needs to sit in silence to regain a semblance of peace. It can be difficult to sit in silence, particularly when you know your friend is struggling with emotional pain. Resist the urge to fill the silence and make an effort to allow it space. Your presence is enough. By being there for your friend, you are showing your love and support, even if you sit quietly together and don’t say a word. Your silent presence may be more therapeutic than you realize.

8. Remember important dates

Anniversaries of grief experiences can be painful reminders of your friend’s loss each year. Try to keep in mind that the date of your friend’s loss, as well as holidays and birthdays, can be triggers for grief symptoms . Reach out to let your friend know that you are thinking of them.

After a loss, people often have good intentions about staying in touch but become busy with life and don’t follow through. Contacting your grieving friend on anniversaries and holidays can help reduce that feeling of loneliness and lets them know that their well-being matters to you.

The Don’ts

Like the helpful hints to support your grieving friend, there are also several reminders about behaviors to avoid. It is easy to stumble into non-helpful behaviors even when you have the best of intentions. Here are some thoughts on what not to do when someone is grieving and ways to handle situations that may feel difficult to navigate.

Gallery: Friends gather to support Project Hospitality’s commitment to helping homeless

STATEN ISLAND,N.Y. — Devoted friends of Project Hospitality gathered in the home of Caroline and Tim Harrison recently to support the agency’s commitment to bettering the lives of impoverished Staten Islanders.

Guests included 50 members of the Harvest Home Society — major benefactors of Project Hospitality, whose contributions have a direct impact on the well-being of all borough residents.

The 35-year-old not-for-profit shelters the homeless, feeds the hungry and connects the disconnected to a wide range of life-saving services. Last year, more than 35,000 Staten Island families, individuals, seniors and children found relief and opportunity through the many programs Project Hospitality provides.

“The Harvest Home Society reception is to honor all of our outstanding donors who make our life-saving work possible,” said Rev. Terry Troia, president and CEO of Project Hospitality. “We are so appreciative of the generosity of the community to help us serve the homeless and hungry here on Staten Island.”

Rev. Troia shared stories of successes from the past year during a presentation at the lively reception. (Editor’s note: Caroline Harrison is the publisher of the Advance.)

The agency served 1,761,462 meals to homeless and hungry Staten Islanders last year alone, and expanded its mobile food pantry to stop at 30 sites from Tompkinsville to Tottenville.

Volunteers contributed 31,200 hours in shelters and the food pantry last year.

The homeless outreach program found 386 homeless people on Staten Island streets during the year, and 266 accepted services from the organization.

Project Hospitality also opened 40 new apartments in 2016-2017 and in 2018 will open 50 new subsidized apartments for disabled homeless people.

Project Hospitality has proudly served the Staten Island community
for the past 31 years. The interfaith organization shelters the homeless, feeds the hungry and cares for people with HIV/AIDS.

To learn more about how you can leave a legacy to Project Hospitality, contact Christopher Hellstrom at 718- 448-1544, ext. 116, or email [email protected]

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How to support friends' projects

The Victorian Tea, a Dickens Universe tradition, founded and organized by the Friends.

How to support friends' projects

Everyone joins in the Victorian Dance, which takes place on the final night of the Universe.

Through their Board of Directors, the Friends of the Dickens Project support the many activities of the Project, especially the Dickens Universe conference. The Friends help to make the Universe a friendly, warm, and welcoming event where people of different ages and backgrounds come together to study and enjoy Victorian literature. The Friends sponsor some of the most popular Universe activities, including special lectures and performances, afternoon Victorian teas, a Grand Party to which Everyone is Invited, and the Friday evening Victorian ball.

In addition, the Friends provide funding for scholarships and conferences throughout the year. Annual scholarships enable talented students, teachers, and distinguished speakers to come to the Dickens Universe who would not otherwise be able to attend. Through their support of the annual graduate student Winter Conference, the Friends help develop future generations of Victorian scholars. Support from the Friends also assists the Project in its outreach to secondary school teachers and its programs of graduate student professionalization.

As part of their commitment to insuring the long-term future of the Dickens Project, the Friends have established an Endowment with a goal of $1 million, of which more than one half has already been donated or pledged.

Please consider making a donation of $50, $100, or whatever you can afford, to help the Friends meet their goals. Your contribution will make a real, lasting impact in the lives of Victorian literature enthusiasts and students of all ages and backgrounds.