Making the World a Better Place
Eric Ehst, Executive Director
I’d like to tell you a holiday story, a mini It’s a Wonderful Life. Neighbors Who Care is a collaboration of folks who volunteer their time to help out their frail and homebound neighbors. This is the tale of magic and good feeling that can come from one interaction between a volunteer and a client, who both shall remain anonymous. The client (M) is a friendly and generous woman who lives alone. She can no longer drive and uses a walker to get around. NWC volunteers take her shopping and to medical appointments. She often buys extra treats to share with our volunteers. The volunteer/hero of this saga (D) is a warm-hearted woman who not only drives homebound clients, but who also donates time to answer the phone in the NWC office and helps plan our community events.
Knowing that M was alone for Thanksgiving, D invited her to share the holiday with her family. On Thanksgiving Day D phoned M to arrange to pick her up. Despite repeated calls, no one ever answered M’s phone. D, in the midst of a busy day of cooking, friends and family, thought that M may be celebrating elsewhere and went on with her day.
The day after Thanksgiving D thought more about it and became concerned. She prepared a plate of leftovers and drove to M’s home. She found a distraught M sitting alone in her house. The phone, her only connection with the outside world, had been disconnected. It turned out that her phone company had, without M’s knowledge, placed her, a woman without a computer or internet connection, on paperless billing. When she didn’t pay the bills that she never received, they turned off her phone. Happy Thanksgiving!
Without hesitation, D loaded M into her car and drove to the phone company office where they straightened out the billing problem and had the phone reconnected. After taking M home and seeing that she also had trouble reading the buttons on her phone and hearing conversations, even at maximum volume, D went straight to a local store and bought a phone with over-sized buttons and hearing aid compatibility.
Our story has a happy ending. M is back connected with the world and she is immensely grateful for the selfless generosity of her neighbors. D, who gave most of her day and braved the crowds of Black Friday to help a fellow human being, doesn’t feel that she did anything out of the ordinary.
How about you? You can’t hear this story without being moved. But, are you willing to give a little time yourself to insure that, like George Bailey, the world is a better place because you are in it? We don’t require that, like D, you drop everything to help out. You can do as much or as little as you’re comfortable with, guaranteed to bring a smile to a neighbor in need. Contact us at www.NeighborsWhoCare.com; phone 480-895-7133.