Mission of the Month: Good Neighbor Center
By: Susan Naslund
With two locations housed at Chollas View UMC and Nestor UMC, the Good Neighbor Center serves more than 2,000 people in crisis each month by providing emergency food, clothing, hygiene, diapers and other resources. The congregation at Foothills supports the Good Neighbor Center through donations placed in the red wagons on Sunday mornings.
On a recent visit to the Good Neighbor Center in Chollas View, clothes and shoes were being sorted by size while other volunteers placed canned goods on a grid of shelves, each carefully categorized by type. Housed in an older building of the Southeast San Diego church, the Good Neighbor Center can be described as serviceable, but certainly not posh. Still, for the people waiting outside to receive basic necessities, the condition of the building in their neighborhood does not matter. They are appreciative of the goods and services they will receive that will help them to become self-sufficient residents in their community.
Because of its location in a comparatively affluent part of La Mesa, the Foothills campus does not encounter many opportunities to serve the poor on its front porch. That is why it is important to go out of our doors to meet the needs of others.
Each Monday, Don Jenkinson delivers the donations we collect on Sunday mornings to the Good Neighbor Center in Chollas View. Don reflected on the need for more contributions to the center. "When we go shopping, there is no reason why we can’t put an extra box or can in our carts. This is an important part of reaching out to the ‘have nots’ in the world, and it is another way of tithing.”
Genie Pivero volunteers each Wednesday by sorting and folding clothing donations. “We forget how much need is out there,” said Genie. “Working here makes me grateful for what I have. I get a good feeling giving back.”
WAYS TO VOLUNTEER:
Contact Debbie Raysin at (619) 264-0368, if you would like to lend a hand at the center.
ONE HOUR OPPORTUNITIES:
When you are shopping, please add some of the following items to your list:
- Beans, rice, pastas, flour, cereals, canned goods, and all types of non-perishables
- NEW: Fresh fruits and vegetables, too!
- Baby supplies
- Personal care and hygiene items
- New men’s, women’s and children’s shoes
Place your contributions in the Good Neighbor Center red wagon on ANY Sunday.
For more information contact Susan Naslund at (619) 490-3855.