Neighborhood Connections


March 21, 2022

By William Brousseau  
Onset Congregation pastor, 
Onset, Massachusetts USA 

While looking through the September/October Herald, I read “Responding to Neighborhood Needs.” It brought a connection to my heart and mind, a connection to another part of our country where people have the same ideas about reaching out to neighbors.  

The congregation of Indianola, Iowa, USA put an idea of helping and reaching into action.

I had read an article about a woman who used a public free-book cupboard and filled it with food. She wrote about its blessings to the neighborhood and to those involved in making it a positive outreach to the community. 

In March of 2017, our congregation started a bag lunch program. On the second Saturday of the month, we put together fifty bag lunches to pass out. The bags contained healthy foods and we made regular stops, giving us an opportunity to connect with our neighbors and build friendships. We did this until March 2020 when COVID-19 halted our program but by that time we already had given out 1,800 lunches. 

In early spring we came up with an idea of how to help our neighbors again. I had read an article about a woman who used a public free-book cupboard and filled it with food. She wrote about its blessings to the neighborhood and to those involved in making it a positive outreach to the community.  

With that idea in mind, this summer we put together a cupboard and keep it filled with nonperishable food, drink items, toiletries, and some clothing. Everyone has helped with this project, and just like the Indianola congregation, stuff just shows up on the shelves. We placed the cupboard in front of our church. It is for anyone who comes by.  

In just a few months our neighbors have blessed us all by being part of God’s plan, “Love thy neighbor.” God’s goodness can be found in everyone. God has a way of connecting strangers, no matter who or where they are. The little things we do for others can make such a difference in this little part of Earth we call home.  

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