What it means to be a true neighbor

Mother holds baby, kissing the top of her head

Share this post!

Heidi and child


I recently found a quote that perfectly sums up how I’m feeling about the holiday season:

“Markets often persuade us that we don’t have enough. Communities remind us that we do.” — Seth Godin

When we tune out the endless news stories on supply chain woes and the must-have toys and gadgets of the season, we discover that everything we need is right in front of us.

Every day, our incredible network of donors, churches, volunteers, employers, and community partners demonstrate what it means to be a true neighbor. To selflessly invest in the lives and families of the people around them, expecting nothing in return.

Your kindness changed the lives of people like Sam, who was hired on the spot at one of our job fairs. He had a record and struggled to find work to the point of losing his home.

Sam was greeted by smiling volunteers and given a new interview outfit, a haircut, and job coaching. His enthusiasm was contagious when he got the job. In just two hours, he had taken a first step toward redemption, right in time for Christmas. In his own words: “What a great gift this year.”

Baby sleeping with a maroon hairband
Ava Kate was born in December.

This holiday season is extra special in my own home, with our new baby, Ava Kate, named after my great grandmother. Seeing our children playing and joyful, safe and surrounded by the love of their family and community, I can’t help but think of Heidi, too.

Heidi also had a new baby this year. She lived in a rented room with her mom and brothers with no space for a new baby. She made a brave decision to reach out for help, and we matched her with a host family. With peace of mind that her baby had a safe place to sleep, Heidi focused on finding a home of her own.

Once she found a home, volunteers made minor repairs to get the home ready. After three months, we reunified this sweet new family. To date, they still have a strong bond and relationship with the host family.

Strong families require strong communities. You can’t have one without the other.

Because of you, hundreds of children woke up on Christmas morning at home with their families, not in foster care. Their parents have someone to call when life gets hard. People found work they can be proud of, marriages were mentored, and many attended their first ever Christmas Eve service as a family. You can’t buy any of these gifts online.

Thank you for continuing to model what really matters this holiday season. We are blessed beyond measure to know you.


Megan Rose

READ MORE: Our first hosting in Jacksonville truly inspires

Share this post!

We are Participating in Give4Marion, and Need Your Support!

Join us for a 33-hour campaign dedicated to raising money and awareness for nonprofit organizations doing good in Marion County. Fundraising kicks off today and ends at 7 p.m. tomorrow.