Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your holidays were happy and healthy. I’m adjusting to the COLD after a few days in sunny Southern California. It was a culture shock to be back on six-lane freeways and traffic. I do not miss that at all. It was, however, great to see my brother–the first time I’ve seen him since my son and I moved here. My family keeps shrinking, so it’s even more important for me to keep my connections with my loved ones.
At Neighbor to Neighbor, we serve a lot of folks who don’t have family nearby. They have to fend for themselves and rely on the goodness of others to lend them a hand. Think about all of the tiny dirt roads in the Northshire and how many (mostly elderly) neighbors live down those roads, isolated from the rest of the community. We provide transportation, yes, but Neighbor to Neighbor is about so much more than taking people to appointments.
We try to match the people we help–we call them Care Recipients–with a volunteer. That way, they make a connection with a specific person who becomes their companion and trusted friend. Volunteers go to CRs’ houses and just hang out, fix a burned-out bulb or two, have coffee, and talk. Volunteers can call their CRs to check in with them and see how things are going. One of our volunteers suggested we have a Happy Birthday list. We will mail out birthday cards to our care recipients each month and just let them know we appreciate them and are thinking of them.
These are little things, yes, but they mean the world to people who are living in isolation. That is why we have monthly events, too. We’re going to have a Winter Games day this month with card and board games and lunch, of course. If you’re in Manchester on Thursday, 18 January, come and see us at the First Congregational Church. And, as I said to the Care Recipients, bring your poker face!
If you would like to become a Neighbor to Neighbor volunteer, please give me a call at the office and I can tell you all about what we do in detail. Your help would be most appreciated. I guarantee it!
With best wishes for the new year,