Member Stories

Neighbors Rally to Help Centenarian in Orange County

Written by Anne Dreshfield

When neighbors learned of a local 101-year-old woman in need, they didn’t hesitate to help.

It all started when Jennifer Encarnacao, a resident of Laguna Woods in Orange County, CA, learned about a unique neighbor in need on her neighborhood’s Nextdoor website.

Through a post on Nextdoor, Jennifer learned that the woman, Sylvia Landfield, lived with her 80-year-old son, who had just undergone a quadruple bypass surgery. Sylvia received Meals on Wheels twice a day, but her refrigerator was broken. Neighbors were curious if anyone was getting rid of a refrigerator that they would be willing to donate, or if anyone could help bring additional meals to Sylvia and her son.

“I saw there was a need and that we could help her,” Encarnacao said.

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Sylvia, after receiving the gifts from neighbors. Photo by Jennifer Encarnacao.

Inspired to help, Jennifer started to spread the word. Within days, neighbors came together on Nextdoor to donate a working fridge, a toaster, microwave, and several other items for the kitchen.

And neighbors didn’t stop there. Even though Sylvia’s immediate needs had been met, neighbors were still eager to help, donating bedding, towels, slippers, and a new nightgown for their local centenarian.

“I’m so overwhelmed,” Landfield said after receiving the gifts.

“It’s just a beautiful thing when we can communicate with each other,” said Jennifer. “There’s so many giving people in our community; they just didn’t know that Sylvia existed. I think it’s the start of a movement.”


Originally reported by the Orange County Register.

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