You Don’t have to be Neighbors to Act Neighborly

by Jennifer Kuhn, HR Sr. Administrative Assistant

Over the past two days, I experienced what I would consider some extraordinary acts of kindness from members of the community whom I have never met and won’t likely cross paths with again. While these people were strangers to me, they quickly became caring neighbors.

After enjoying a refreshing bike ride on the beautiful bike trails in St. Charles and Geneva, I realized that I had dropped my wallet that contained my credit card, driver’s license and health insurance card (a treasure trove for identity theft!). I said a heartfelt prayer, re-traced my steps, and made calls to the credit card company and police departments. Within an hour of returning from my bike ride, I heard a knock on my front door. I unexpectedly greeted a stranger who handed me my wallet, letting me know that his wife had found it on a street in Geneva. I enthusiastically thanked the younger man and thought how fortunate I was to live in a community where an honest couple would go out of their way to personally deliver my wallet back to my home in St. Charles.

The next day, I was in my kitchen talking with my father (who happened to be visiting from out of town). I received a call on my cell phone with my dad’s phone number listed as the caller. Since we were speaking to each other, I knew he wasn’t calling me. The voice on the other end of the phone told me that he had found my father’s iPhone in Mount St. Mary’s park in St. Charles. My dad did not even know his phone was missing! The caller said that he would wait for me at the Gazebo in the park until I was able to come and retrieve the phone. Needless to say, it had taken quite a bit of time and ingenuity for the caller to figure out how to get in touch with me from my dad’s locked iPhone.  I was deeply grateful again to encounter another person that was willing to go the extra mile.

Besides thinking that my dad and I both need a tutorial on how to keep track of our personal belongings, I reflected on the impact of the goodness that I had experienced from these two people. In a world where we typically only hear about dishonesty and violence in our cities, I experienced nobility and neighborliness, which made me feel safe and proud of our community.  I realized that a strong community is built one caring act of kindness at a time and that every member of the community has the capacity to be a builder. I hope that someone, someday, will repay my “good Samaritans.” In the meantime, I’ll follow their example and look for opportunities to be a caring neighbor and strengthen St. Charles.

Photo: The Apopka Voice –