Raking Leaves To Help A Neighbor

There is a lot to love about fall.  Football, Halloween, and caramel apples are a few of the things we love most.  The vibrant colors of a changing season are a beautiful scene.  Leaves fall creating a layered palette in the yard.  This palette, although pretty, is what I dislike most about the fall.  I do not like raking leaves.  I never have.  As a child, I loved jumping into the piles of leaves that my parents raked in our yard, but I hated helping.  I feel much the same way today.  Why?  Why do I dislike something as menial as raking leaves?  I do not have a great answer to this question.  I do know, however, that this week I really enjoyed my time with leaves.

We participated in Neighborlink’s 4th Annual Leaf Raking Challenge.  It is a grassroots movement to provide assistance to local residents who physically or financially cannot take care of their yard projects.  We took on a project to assist Pat, a 78 year-old widow.  It was a glorious Saturday afternoon.  Mother Nature has blessed us with 60 degree weather and a beautiful sunny day.  Upon arrival, we met Cathy, Pat’s daughter.  She told us that Pat has been very sick and was unable to greet us. She was very thankful for our generosity and our help.  As a family, with the help of Kelsi’s friend, we spent two hours raking and blowing leaves.  We piled the leaves onto a large blanket and dragged them to the curb where the city will collect them later.  We enjoyed the time together. We laughed as we worked and enjoyed each other’s company.  I even took a minute to make “the blow face” which always brings a smile to the girls faces.  It was a great day spent as a family helping a neighbor in need.

This was our third volunteer experience with Neighborlink Fort Wayne.  Each experience has been great and family friendly.  The organization offers practical, neighbor-to-neighbor expressions of God love and that is exactly what we did this week.  We all need to take some time and get to know our neighbors, help our neighbors, and love our neighbors.  Our communities will be better places if we all take the initiative and the time to care.  Help wash windows, paint a fence, or rake some leaves.  Do something to help another and you will help yourself in return.

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