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by Sarah Wayland

For as long as I've know her, Audrey Bragg has been figuring out new and creative ways to help others. She has called me a number of times with news of someone who needs help through a difficult period: a single mother unable to work for a few months because of an illness, an elderly man whose children didn't understand how ill he was or a daughter with sick parents who needed someone to help with the daily chores. Audrey's goal was to find a way to help these people through a temporary difficult period.

Now Audrey has recruited a group of people willing to organize volunteers to help others in times of need. Pat Gladding, Judy Glaes, Carole and Bob Coursey, Lissa Scott and I have all agreed to work with Audrey and the people of Riverdale Park to make sure that anyone who needs a little extra help can get it. We hope to give our neighbors the gift of our time and energy when they need it the most--things like running errands for someone who cannot drive or doing chores for someone who cannot walk.

We want to provide temporary help, responding to a need that will exist for a few weeks or a few months. We are also collecting information about organizations and programs in our county to provide information for those who need more extensive help than a volunteer network can provide.

If you would like to be a part of the "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" network, please contact one of us and let us know what you are willing to do. We are particularly interested in creating a list of people who are willing to volunteer their time. If you want to provide a certain kind of help, let us know what you want to do. Likewise, if you know of any organizations that provide help to people who have a long-term need (e.g. Christmas in April, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, etc.), we would love to know about them. Last, but certainly not least, if you know of someone who needs help, please let us know about them by calling one of the following: Audrey Bragg 301-927-7393, Carole and Bob Coursey 301-277-9287, Pat Gladding 301-927-1362, Judy Glaes 301-779-1745, Lissa Scott 301-927-5657 and Sarah Wayland 301-927-7407.

Sarah Wayland is a resident of Ward 1.

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