Loving our neighbors can easily get lost in everyday life. Covid-19 compounded the problem, but now you can pitch in to make a difference.

Loving Our Neighbors Made Simple: ForColumbia 2022

Since 2015, ForColumbia has had a single mission, namely to put time and resources to good use loving and serving our neighbors, without any agenda, as a way of glorifying Christ and living our lives for His glory.

Each year, we have the privilege of loving and serving our neighbors in a very literal fashion. We search for families who own their homes but who (for various reasons) need some help maintaining them.

This year, we hope to help more than 20 families in this way. Today, with their kind permission, I want to share a bit about two of those families.

  • Registration Now Open: https://forcolumbia.com/volunteer/
  • Day of Service: Saturday, April 30, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • Can’t serve all day? No problem! Morning and afternoon shifts available.

One Woman’s Story

Tonya is a single working woman helping to raise one of her teen grandsons. She grew up in her parents’ home here in central Columbia, the home her parents shared until her father died in 2013.

Following his death, the home became increasingly difficult for her elderly mother to care for on her own. Tonya moved in to help care for both her mom and the home. On a limited income, they struggled both financially and practically to care for it.

In 2018, with needed repairs outpacing their ability to keep up, the two women decided to rent a home together. They were looking for a situation where a landlord would ultimately be responsible for home care.

Then, in December 2020, both women became ill with Covid-19.

While Tonya ultimately recovered, her mother did not. She ended up succumbing to the virus and died on Christmas Eve. Understandably, Tonya was devastated.

This past year, Tonya decided she would move back into the family home. However, having been left essentially abandoned for three years, the weather and various Missouri critters had compounded the state of disrepair. By the time Tonya decided to reclaim the property, the home had a hole in the roof, foundation issues, and wrecked plumbing…just for starters.

Tonya needed serious help bringing this old home back to life.

Even the repair of loosened kitchen floor tiles, a simple task for many, can prove overwhelming for those in declining health.
Even the repair of loosened kitchen floor tiles, a simple task for many, can prove overwhelming for those in declining health.

One Man’s Story

Melvin is a kind and thoughtful gentleman living in the home he and his wife have owned for many years.

This past year, Melvin became a widower after health issues took his bride of 52 years.

In recent years, both Melvin and his wife were in declining health, and as is common for many elderly people, a fixed income makes it hard to keep up with maintenance. As a result, needed home repairs have been delayed.

No longer steady on his feet, even the repair of loosened kitchen floor tiles is going to be an enormous help, and we plan to build also build a ramp from Melvin’s front door so there’s no longer a risk of falling as he leaves his home.

Simple Maintenance Tasks Stack Up Quickly

You might be surprised at how many people I meet with stories similar to Tonya’s and Melvin’s.

Oftentimes our neighbors, for many reasons, don’t have the funds to pay for expensive repairs. They frequently have family members who do care about them. However, most also don’t have the finances or time to help out significantly. Oftentimes people don’t know where to look for help.

This is where we love to step in.

Tonya’s and Melvin’s experiences are exactly the kind of situation we look for as a residential serving site for ForColumbia.

Many hands (some of those hands with carpentry skills) can make for light work. Likewise, neighbors can come together to make the impossible doable. By doing so, we help a neighbor hang on to a property that’s been in their family for decades.

That’s exactly what the experience of serving with ForColumbia looks like. Neighbors helping neighbors.

ForColumbia has identified many of these kinds of projects. We’ve met with people who need help. We’ve come up with a plan for how we can serve people well on Saturday, April 30.

Now, all we need is for you to show up and give your time to a neighbor. Would you do that? Will you help us as we set about loving and serving our neighbors?

Registration Now Open

Join us as we set about loving and serving others!

Jeremiah 29:7 (ESV)
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.