Hello dear neighbors! We are surrounded by truly good people in our community who stand ready to serve, drop off groceries, bring a smile or run an errand as soon as a request is made. When I reached out to the community in search of stories to brighten your day, I was overwhelmed with tale after tale of neighbors making a difference. I hope after reading a few of these stories you too will be inspired to make a difference for a neighbor.
Dana Mischlich of Garden Oaks would like to thank her neighbor Emily Garcia, who delivered palms from St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. Mischlich said, “Small thing but it boosted morale.”
Johnny and Cynthia Rojas welcomed two fairies, Arden and Lebee, to their legendary oak tree on Gardenia in Section 13 of Oak Forest just about 3 years ago and neighbors were so charmed, fairy houses began popping up throughout the community. Johnny, a well-known artist throughout the Houston and Richmond areas, handmade jewel and metalwork ornaments which were left for small visitors to the fairy houses each Christmas. He created a Facebook page called “Little Houses in the Forest,” and recently posted about a whimsical new fairy who has taken residence up in the limbs of the great tree, inviting submissions in a contest to name the beautiful fairy. It was revealed this week that neighbor Lydia Clifton won the contest with her submission of the name “Esperanza,” which translates to “hope” in Spanish, and will be presented with a magical charm created especially for her by Arden and Lebee (er … Rojas). Neighbor Linda Youngersaid, “Thank you for sprinkling your fairy dust over us and giving us hope in these very dark days.”
Kallie Benes and her husband Brett of Timbergrove Manor would like to thank neighbors who reached out and sent her son cookies, drove by and honked, and even sent the fire department over to honk their horns and wave after his 7th birthday celebration was cancelled and he was unable to celebrate with friends and family members. Benes said, “Everyone was amazingly kind and generous!”
Pam McHenry shared: “My neighbors Nita, Zack and Tiffany Arriola painted their front window with this beautiful design. We live on the 1700 block of Latexo and all the walkers have been enjoying seeing it.”
Steven Vina would like to thank those involved in the planning of the Palm Sunday Procession/Car Parade that made its way through Oak Forest. “It was fun, uplifting and spiritual. We do not live in Oak Forest but we participated all the same and were very glad we did.” Nancy Gonzalez shared, “About 40-50 neighbors paraded the streets waving their palms out of their car windows, honking and wishing us blessings.”
Jessi Heiner of Mangum Manor was excited to share the enormous blue “WE LOVE YOU” message made on the fence at Wainwright Elementary. “The Wainwright PTA put up this sign and it has brought joy to the children, parents, staff, and the surrounding community as schools have closed down.”
Vera Binnicker of Forest Pines said, “The Gonzales boys have created a beautiful and uplifting drawing on their driveway with chalk!”
David Dimatteo Sr., also of Forest Pines, shared, “Three houses at the end of the 6000 block of Verdome have Christmas lights up and every evening at 8 p.m. we ring bells to show support for the people on the front lines.”
Multiple neighbors are filling a true need and performing a lifegiving service by making free masks for healthcare professionals, neighbors, friends and family. Sharron Sanborn (Garden Oaks), Edith Carruth (Forest Pines), Natalie Dunn (Shepherd Forest), Irma Jimenez (Oak Forest) and Stephanie Glass (Oak Forest) are a few of those very kind neighbors. Other neighbors are making masks for a profit, but still filling a vital need with their time and talent.
Naro Mak of Hartz Krispy Chicken, 1215 Pinemont Dr., and his family have been making masks for healthcare professionals as well as delivering donations of fried and baked chicken meals and masks to area medical facilities. You can donate to a GoFundMe which funds meals and masks for more healthcare professionals. Visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/thatchickenman-covid19-response.
Mangum Manor created a 40-day neighborhood scavenger hunt of specific pictures in windows on certain days and Angelic Vargas said, “I love that our neighborhood is doing this for the kids. It’s something to look forward to on our walks!”
Diane Sebesta shared, “My friend, Natalie Phillips of Oak Forest is a teacher at St. Jerome and member of St. Rose, and is involved in a cat spay and neuter effort. Her blessing to me is offering to help my mom trap a cat that lives on her front porch and take it to be fixed. Natalie will then rehab the cat before she takes it back to my mom. My mom is 85 and could not catch the cat herself. She feeds the cat and cares for it the best she can and is a worrier. She was so concerned the cat would have kittens. I called Natalie searching for a trap and got so much more. Thank you, Natalie!”
Who made your day? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share for a future column.