The interconnectedness of individuals is one of our greatest assets in being good neighbors. As Neighbor by Neighbor has gained momentum and recognition, individuals in the community will at times alert me to people in need. Better yet, some people hand out our magnets to their neighbors, or utilize their own connections, knowledge and abilities to assist as they are able. I ended up being in contact with a resident in our community in such a manner. The person was in need of transportation, and although we do not have the luxury of having the kind of consistent, seamless transportation systems metropolitan areas can offer, we do have some, such as Berrien Bus and Dial-a-Ride. Still, transportation remains a barrier for some. The public option of using Berrien Bus, which is only available two days a week, starting with a pick-up time at 7AM from Harbor Country, with a return time in the late afternoon can be a barrier in scheduling.
As I considered alternative options for this individual, I took advantage of my own networking and finally became connected with a wonderful individual in our community who previously worked as professional driver in the area. This would be a first for Neighbor by Neighbor to provide compensation for an individual in our community to provide transportation for another individual. Let me tell you, it was a success! In fact, the report from the driver was that the two of them “hit it off”. In a perfect world, we would all have public or private transportation to meet the needs of all in our community, but in a less than perfect world we will appreciate and celebrate the kindness of neighbors who drive their neighbors to doctor’s appointments, pick them up when they are finished, and “hit it off” on the way home, sharing life and what it truly means to be neighbors.