JoAnn Jones of Pittsburgh’s Sheraden neighborhood has always been a giving, thoughtful person. She has lived in the same townhome in Sheraden for 45 years, and has become very close with her neighbors. She considers many of them lifelong friends, including Ella LaScola, who has known JoAnn for 16 years and nominated her for Nextdoor’s Good Neighbor Award.
“JoAnn always takes the time to help others,” Ella wrote to us in her nomination. “She always has a smile on her face and time to listen.”
In addition to being a wife and mother of two, JoAnn has dedicated her life to working and helping others. After her kids were old enough, she started working at the community nursery school and helped run a local daycare. She then turned her attention to a daycare center specifically for the elderly suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as adults with disabilities. She worked at the daycare center until she retired.
After her beloved husband passed away four years ago, JoAnn decided she needed to find something to help keep her busy. She came out of retirement and now works four days a week at the nearby Holiday Inn serving breakfast, which requires her to get to work at 4:30 a.m. to prepare food.
At the spry age of 74, her job at the Holiday Inn didn’t seem to keep her quite busy enough. JoAnn decided she wanted to dedicate the rest of her time to neighbors who might need a little extra help – the majority of whom are actually younger than herself!
JoAnn takes one neighbor on monthly trips to the grocery store and to the hair salon. She also drives her anywhere else she needs, including a recent trip to the optometrist to get her eyes checked. JoAnn also takes Rita and Cathy Carmichael, who can no longer drive, to church every week so they can continue their tradition together. Up until his recent passing, JoAnn also looked after an elderly neighbor who suffered from dementia and lived alone. To help his family who didn’t live nearby, JoAnn would visit him daily to make sure he ate his meals. Same goes for her younger neighbor, Billy, who was recently hospitalized. She checks on him every day and picks up his mail.
“JoAnn is always a great, helpful, and caring neighbor. She’s ready to help, even while getting up at 4:30 in the morning for her job!” Ella says. “She is very deserving of special attention because she gives so much.”
We agree – it is evident that JoAnn loves her family and her community very much. We thank JoAnn for all she has done for her community, proving that you can be a good neighbor at any age, and congratulate her on winning Nextdoor’s Good Neighbor award!
JoAnn wanted to thank her neighbor Ella for thinking of her for this award, as well as her loving family, including her late husband Bob, daughter Roberta, son Christopher, daughter-in-law Michelle and two beautiful grandchildren, Josh and Allie.
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