Friends, family, neighbors, and members of your congregation may care about you more and provide a more personal touch. Receiving help from them can deepen your relationship and bring you closer together. They can be vital resources. But they frequently don’t have all the resources that agencies have. It’s also good to remember that all agencies are made up of individuals, and these individuals are people with whom one can build a personal relationship. Frequently, they welcome praise or thanks; they want to know their work is appreciated and may well reciprocate by giving better service.
The bottom line is not to be ashamed. Many people, especially recent immigrants, have been raised to count on their families for all needed help. Some people feel guilty about asking for outside assistance. But life works by everyone helping each other. You’ve helped a lot of people in your life and probably still do. It’s OK to take help from others, even agencies, and you might as well learn to make good use of them.