Neighbor by Neighbor hosted a Home Repair Collaborative last month, which provided a great opportunity for many in the community to not only learn more about social services in our area, but actually meet the service providers face-to-face. As a result of this day, Neighbor by Neighbor has had the opportunity to follow-up with several attendees. I’ve been pleased to learn from many of those in attendance that connections have been made with agencies and non-profits! The collaborative also allowed me to learn more about a great ministry out of Water’s Edge Church United Methodist Church in New Buffalo. They call themselves SON (Serving Our Neighbors), and the group of volunteers has been in existence since 2015. Just this week I had the opportunity to learn more about the types of projects they are involved in: painting, siding, cleaning up yards, tree trimming, cleaning out gutters, etc.. Following my meeting with the field coordinator, we went to a local patron’s home who is seeking home repairs. After learning more specifically about the needs, SON has committed to begin the work project next week! Sometimes social service agencies, rightly so, require much-needed paperwork and significant assessment. Of course, much of this is required to leverage funding, provide education and long-term assistance and change. The asset of a local church group such as SON is that the work can often get done without these stipulations. I believe we need both types of services to serve our neighbors well. One of the best parts of my job is interacting with so many different groups and agencies, and witnessing how each one fits together to benefit those in need. It keeps all of us humble to know we need one another, even the agencies/groups providing service. Jesus provides us with such a simple illustration, using the body as a metaphor of the many parts working together in service. May we too, welcome all the gifts and talents within the body, depending on each of them, and serving humbly.