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Neighbor News
March 2018  

In This Issue
By The Numbers ...
January - December 2017

Neighbors Served - (rent, utilities, misc...)
Amount disbursed on behalf of Neighbors
Volunteer Hours Given
Number of Calls Received
Follow up Calls Completed
Neighbors Seen for the First Time!
Neighbors receiving information only
Neighbors unable to complete the plan
Partner with

2018 Board Members

Diana Curtis
Eric Weatherbee   

Stu Hammond

Becky Eckert
Brittany Ballerini-Elliott
Jim Caughron 
Suzie Cutshaw
Barbara Foster
Virginia Hardwick
Chuck Parkins
Tanya Smith
Erika Weaver
Matt Webb


9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Please call
for an appointment    
Important Dates for 2018!!

Saturday, April 14
Spring Festival
First Baptist Church, Maryvile
(10:30am - 2pm)
Concert featuring
Josh Lovelace at 1pm
$5 at the door

Friday,Sept. 28

 Third Annual
   M oonlight Mile  
10 pm
One mile race in downtown Maryville

Thursday, Nov. 1

"Spirit of Good Neighbors"
Awards Dinner  
New Providence Presbyterian Church
How Can You Help?

Make sure your church pastor and office staff know about Good Neighbors

Call Good Neighbors when you need help
If you encounter a neighbor that is struggling, refer them to Good Neighbors
Pray for our community and neighbors daily
Your gift to Good Neighbors makes a difference. Without the support of our friends, GN is unable to help many neighbors who may ask for assistance.  
From Where I Sit...
  Lisa Blackwood,
Executive Director 
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,

Stories of Hope
Making A Difference in The Lives of Our Neighbors Every Day
Paul and Cindy reached out to Good Neighbors through the GN web-site. Their home had recently burned and they were struggling to pay rent. They have two young children in the home and were facing immediate eviction if the rent was not fully paid. Several agencies and churches worked together to be sure the family was not evicted. Because the deadlines they were facing happened over a weekend, it was a blessing to be able to connect through the web-site and be ready to get a head start on Monday morning. Other resources were shared as well.

Wanda came to Good Neighbors on behalf of her elderly parents. Recently, two of their grandchildren were unexpectedly left in their care. The situation is still new enough that legal arrangements have not been completely settled. The mother of the two children (both in high school) states she will not pay the court ordered child support and will not turn over any food stamp benefits to the grandparents. Regulations placed on other agencies made it difficult for this family to qualify for assistance. Until custody is completely settled, the children could not be counted as household members at another agency. Good Neighbors was able to pay roughly 50% of the utility bill and referred the family to food pantries, the Family Resource Center and Relative Caregivers. It's going to be a tough journey, but these grandparents are determined their grandchildren will be safe and loved.
Coming out of a rehab center is quite an accomplishment. Regaining custody of your teenaged daughter is another step. Finding a job is not easy. With that in mind, Maggie came to Good Neighbors seeking help with a utility bill.. As was the case for most folks in our community the February bill was very high. Maggie welcomed the resource information on Welcome Table and the food pantries and requested a budget packet. With a little help from the coach she was able to raise the balance of her utility bill and was on her way to a job interview the next day. Looks like things are turning around for this family.

2018 Interesting Changes in Data!
Over the past few years statistics have been kept about the  age demographics of our neighbors. Surprisingly low has been the number of those who are in the 55+ age range. 2018 is already bringing about change. While in the past less than 20% of our neighbors had at least one person in the household age 55+, this year (to date) just over 51% of households served had someone over 55. 

  It' been a rough winter with bitter cold and day after day of cold temps. While our neighbors have bills higher and lower, the average utility  bill for January was just over $210.  February  brought a big increase in bills, with the average climbing  to over $310 per household.  It's tough out there!  We do provide information on how to reduce your utility costs during extreme cold.

We have Coffee! 

Good Neighbors continues to provide coffee (our own blend) for $12 per bag.  We have new biodegradable K-cups as well - same price!  Give us a call and we will be glad to share!