We had only lived here a week or so when we had our first experience with Dillingham generosity. Kyle and I were talking with a member of the welcoming team, now a friend, about the plans we had for our garage. Kyle said, “In Koyuk my tools were stored in the bedroom closet, now I actually have a place to put them! Now we just need to get a workbench for the garage so that I can really store them, but we’ll get to that later”
Our friend immediately responded, “We have one of those old big metal teacher desks, would you like that?”
Later that week we transported the desk to our garage and Kyle set up his workbench. As he was setting it up I remarked, “Wow, people here are really generous. We haven’t even known these people for a week and they’re already giving us useful items.”
The generosity continued that fall. Talking with some other friends we mentioned that we were planning on getting a boat and asked for advice about where to get a subsistence fishing net.
“Oh, we have an extra one. Come on by and grab it and it’s yours,” the friend said.
Done and done. Again, we felt thrilled with the generosity.
These types of conversations have only continued over the years, stocking our house and making us feel like we live in the most generous small town.
Then, people found out we were expecting a baby and the flood gates truly opened. Now, offers didn’t just come up in casual conversation, people came seeking us to specifically offer things. The offers were nonstop:
“Do you want a boppy?”
“Would you like a box of baby boy clothes?”
“We have a baby bath tub, would you like that?”
“Would you like these super cute maternity clothes?”
“Will you borrow this baby swing from us for the first two months?”
“Here are some nursing pads.”
The kicker, “Do you want this crib?” Given the cost of getting a crib shipped here, this one was a huge deal to us!
Our answer was always yes. Experiencing this generosity made me proud to be a part of the community in Dillingham. I repeatedly thought to myself, “This is fantastic. I feel so lucky to live in a community like this.
Then, the baby arrived.
A few months after Will’s arrival, we found ourselves with a large pile of things Will had outgrown. With very limited storage space, we were stuck with what to do with these nice, barely used baby items. So we turned to our other friends who were expecting and said, “Hey, would you like this set of newborn clothes?” and “Will you borrow this cosleeper from us?”
This is when we learned that Dillingham’s generosity really has two causes. The first cause, that we just recently discovered, is that with limited storage space people need to clean out the extra stuff in their house- and there’s no better way to do that than to pass items to a friend who will use them. The second cause, the one we’ve known all along, is that people here are extraordinarily kind and caring.