The last time many of you heard from Good Neighbors was just before the office relocated. So much has happened since then. Good Neighbors was blessed to be invited to the campus of Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church and with so many who stepped up to help in the moving process. Painting, packing, moving, cleaning, etc. In the blink of an eye the move was completed. We are forever grateful to the Habitat crew who painted our new space all in one day and to all those who served in that difficult time. And let's make it official while we are at it..... Good Neighbors loves our new home! We are truly blessed to be in such a wonderful, safe, cozy environment. The neighbors that have been to see us feel welcomed and it is obvious they are comfortable here. The level of privacy they are offered is exactly as it should be.
The real challenge of the move is helping our neighbors find us. We are much closer to the middle of town which is a good thing, but learning how to give directions has taken a while to master.
2018 is off to a great start! We welcomed four new energetic and enthusiastic board members: Brittany Ballerini-Elliott, Jim Caughron, Chuck Parkins and Matt Webb. We have big plans for the year. Our first GN Spring Festival will be held Saturday April 14th at First Baptist Church of Maryville. So much will be happening there. Lots of fun activities for children (face painting, bounce houses, touch a truck, law enforcement displays) and the best part of the day will be a concert featuring Josh Lovelace! If you think you might get hungry, there will be multiple food trucks around to satisfy your needs. Join the fun and check out this family festival.
Moonlight Mile will be back in late September and followed by the Spirit of Good Neighbors Awards Dinner on November 1st! An exciting year for sure.
Meanwhile, here in the office we are seeing neighbors facing utility bills that have been staggering..... more than $400 - yes; more than $500 - yes..... and some even higher! Our neighbors struggle to maintain a budget with average bills, but these bills have caused so many to face cut off notices and cause major stress. GN is certainly glad to be here to help. As grateful as our neighbors are for the small financial assistance it seems they are even more grateful for the opportunity to sit one on one, face to face with someone who wants to listen and not judge. Some of our neighbors only need information to solve the current issue and we are glad to help.
From my desk, out my window (it's so exciting to have a window) I see neighbors coming in with anxiety and leaving with a plan - far less concern. They still have work to accomplish, but they have a plan. It's a wonderful sight to see.
Just remember this, our staff (around 30 volunteers along with a 13 member board) do amazing work and make a difference in our community every day. Such a blessing!
So, from where I sit, Good Neighbors has weathered a storm and is very grateful to the community who prayed with us and for us, supported us and cared. I'm reflecting now on the previous newsletter when I said- no worries, we will get through this. There will be "just the right place" and we will wonder why we spent so much time worrying. And it came to be. Thanks be to God.
Filled with joy and hope,