“Thanks for everything you do for me. You give me hope which is hard for me to find.”
Some Stories of How NeighbourLink Volunteers Have Helped in C-K
Immigrant Family from Lebanon Set Up in New Apartment
We received a call from a neighbour concerned about the well-being of some people living in her apartment building. It turned out to be a family which included four children that had recently moved to Canada to escape the fighting in Lebanon. To begin their new life the family needed virtually everything--beds, dressers, clothing, furniture and other household items.
Our office volunteers contacted Loads of Love and Good Neighbours Warehouse, two of our community partners that help those in need. We then provided the trucks and volunteers to deliver the items to the family's home. Within a few weeks they had almost everything they needed thanks to the initiative of caring NeighbourLink volunteers.
A Bruised Widow Gets a New Start
A widow in her mid 50’s, Mrs. B had been beaten and bruised too many times by her drunken boyfriend. He often stole her money and sold her belongings to buy alcohol. On more than one occasion he threatened to kill her, and once tried to strangle her. She had no biological family support, or friends capable of helping her.
Fortunately, a couple from one of our NeighbourLink churches befriended Mrs. B. Her new lady friend took photos of the bruises and encouraged Mrs B to call the police, throw the boy friend out or move. But our victim felt incapacitated to act by the fear of repercussions, and also the dread of being alone. After several months of encouragement she agreed that she should move.
Mrs B’s new friends developed a plan to ensure her safety. They found her a safe place to live in a peaceful neighbourhood, rented a moving truck, recruited 5 male and 4 female volunteers from a NeighbourLink church. Early one January morning, they descended upon the house before the boy friend knew what hit him. Less than five hours later Mrs B and all her worldly possessions were packed, loaded in trucks and cars and she had moved to the new safe location. Volunteers then helped her assemble the bed, put the furniture in place, hang her clothes in the closets and unpack the boxes. Afterward, they returned and paid for the moving van. Mrs. B. now looks forward to a much brighter future.
Single Mom Gets Fence Built
"I live on a very busy street and was concerned that my young children would be safe. I was desperate, frustrated and feeling quite forsaken. I made one tearful call to NeighbourLink and within a week five men from two different churches were ready and willing to build the fence. I bought all the materials, and on two Saturdays they came with all their equipment and built my fence. Throughout the rest of the spring and summer, I was able to plant flowers, barbeque and just sit outside and allow the children to play without worrying about their safety.
God knew I had a need and although I felt forsaken, He had a plan to bring help from another source. He brought together people to work toward the common goal of helping someone who was struggling."
Disabled Mom Gets Help With Yard Work
A single, disabled mom with a son also living with disabilities was unable to tackle her yard on her own. So a team of nineteen volunteers consisting of youth, their parents and some youth leaders pulled together to assist this mother and son. They cleaned the eaves troughs, raked and mowed the lawn, trimmed the hedges, cleaned and trimmed the gardens and pressure washed the deck--all in the midst of a steady rain!
From Helped to Helper
Mr. C grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father. The ongoing abuse created an anger in him that finally exploded with terrible consequences. He was convicted of assault and subsequently spent four months in prison.
When he was released, he had no home, no food, and only the clothes on his back. His aunt referred him to Neighbourlink and he was provided with a Christian counsellor who helped him process the consequences of being molested. Eventually he learned to forgive. NeighbourLink also connected him with the Salvation Army who helped him find temporary housing. They then also connected Mr. C with Loads of Love where he received a new wardrobe. Now Mr. C volunteers for Neighbourlink himself. He's helped fill backpacks for the United Way's school program and assisted seniors with lawn raking and snow removal.
In Mr. C's words, "This would not have been possible without help from the wonderful staff at Neighbourlink. They made me feel valued as a human being and treated me like family. They were nonjudgmental and took the time to really listen."
Mr. K's Story in His Own Words
My life has been so much easier these past 2-3 years because of NeighbourLink. I'm 54 years old and have been on disability support since 2000 because of cancer. Half my lung was removed and one time a NeighbourLink volunteer stayed with me the entire time my lung was being drained. I am also being treated for bladder cancer and I've had triple by-pass surgery. Three volunteers from NeighbourLink take me to medical appointments twice a week.
One time, I had terrible chest pains. The volunteer driver had to cancel, so Gwen, the office worker, closed the office and took me herself. Later, she asked if she could pray for me. I said, "Sure..I'll take all the help I can get." Since then, I haven't had any chest pains. Thanks for all the people who help out at NeighbourLink."
Doing Much Good in Dresden
On Saturday, June 23, 2013 NeighbourLink volunteers joined with many other church volunteers to do as much good as they possibly could for the town of Dresden. A free store containing a wide selection of household goods was set up. Apartments at a social housing complex were adorned with outdoor planters and residents were given gift baskets and a free BBQ. Women (and men) got pampered in a spa, fitness classes were held and a cookie decorating session was offered. Numerous "Backyard Mission Projects" took place throughout the town where homes and yards were beautified. An early morning breakfast for the local police and firemen was hosted and refreshments for all during the day.