Good Neighbors in the Village: August update

by Holly Harman Fackler, chair It has been an active summer for Good Neighbors volunteers and partners.  The big news is that the After School Program will be operational by August 17th, the first day of school.  A seven-member board is being assembled to carry forward the work of an ad hoc committee that’s been meeting for months, though the After School Program will remain under the auspices of Good Neighbors.  It’s mission is simple:  To provide a safe and enriching environment to students after school. The program will be held at Faith Lutheran Church and will serve Liberty Union elementary school students who are referred by teachers, counselors and/or the principal.  We are expecting enrollment of up to 25 students initially.  Homework help is only part of what the program will offer to participants.


The After School Program’s most pressing need is for volunteers to interact with kids and help with program activities (crafts, games, reading, snacks, more), from about 2:30 to 6 p.m. on school days.  Dependable volunteers are needed, but volunteers can ask to serve only on days that fit into their schedule.  For instance, you may wish to work only one or two afternoons a week, or for only a two-week stretch a couple of times during the school year.  Or you may be available to help out only occasionally.  All regular and occasional volunteers must submit to a criminal background check.


There will be other ways for our partners to support this program as we move along, but for now we need volunteers, hopefully some of them retired educators with experience engaging and supporting children in active learning and pursuing their interests.  If you are interested in being a volunteer, or in teaching a skill you have to children, please call Darcy at Christ United Methodist Church, 740-862-4343, and leave your name and contact information (a working phone number and email address).


Since June 1st, the Senior Lunch Program has served 152 senior, 84 to-go and 58 lunch worker meals.  The program continues to be well supported financially by many of the seniors who benefit from it – and some of those seniors also are contributing to winning season in chair volleyball.  We remind our partner churches to spread the word about this Wednesday opportunity for fun and fellowship that is open to all, regardless of age and ability.


The three day/week Summer Lunch Program, also held in the Family Life Center at Christ United Methodist Church, served 274 child, 93 adult and 120 worker meals, and 41 weekend bags, from June 7th through July 14th.  August 4th is the final day.  Your contributions of money, baked goods and especially time to this effort is making a difference in the lives of some of our neighbors.


Good Neighbors continues to listen for community needs and respond where God appears to be leading us.  We could do none of this without your participation.


Good Neighbors in the Village will have its quarterly meeting at 6 p.m., August 1st, in the Basil Park Community Center.  It will be potluck.  You are welcome to join us.  Bring your own table service.


Holly Harman Fackler