Below is a story from a Bella Vista neighborhood on part of their experience during their Good Neighbor Food Drive (story told from their perspective)...
Before the food drive, we were walking the neighborhood to put notices on the door and one of our neighbors was already prepared and waiting for us with eight or so bags already filled
He started to carry the bags out to our car, and I got out to help open the trunk.
I said to him, "this is great, you out did yourself. This is so much more than we had hoped for."
He just looked back at me and said, "Well, I won't be needing all of this since I lost my wife."
"When?", I asked.
"Two days ago", he replied.
Tears filled both of our eyes as we had not heard the news, so we just stood there and just hugged.
He shared with us that she had gone blind the last few months, and had been having trouble with her heart. She required an operation that was considered very high risk, and she did not come out of the surgery two days ago.
This couple had only lived in our neighborhood a couple of years. We did not know them very well, and they had no family here. He had been her only care giver, but today our role was to stand there with him and let him know we cared.
After we left, we started calling the other neighbors to share the need. The neighborhood began to rally and meals were arraigned for him, people came to visit so he was not alone during this period. The visitation for his wife was on Sunday, and the neighborhood came to show their support.
As the neighbors started showing up and surrounded him, he said "So this is what they call Southern Hospitality. We would have never seen this where we came from."
We now have someone we can love and support during their time of need and he is not alone.
And don't forget, this group gathered over 2,900 lbs of food that was donated to the Samaritan Community Center!
You can see them in action in the last few minutes of this video