In the spirit of National Good Neighbor Day on September 28th, Nextdoor and CBS ran “The Great Neighbor Shout-Out” contest to identify neighbors who are doing things both big and small to positively impact their community. After receiving nearly 7,000 nominations, America voted and the following neighbors from around the country have been awarded the deserving title of “Great Neighbor.”
Michael Hayden Jr. | New Orleans, LA
Michael H. Jr is a 20 year old boy with autism who is known to his neighbors as an all-around super helper. For years, Michael has helped neighbors by taking their garbage cans to the curb for trash day and back after pickup. His nominator, Heather, guesses he helps some 200 homes! She jokes, “When he is out of town, his dad posts on Nextdoor that everybody will have to take out their own trash. Funny thing is… it is obvious when he is not around because everybody forgets to take the cans to the street.” When neighbors’ lawns are overgrown, Michael volunteers to mow. He even helps maintain the parks of Lake Vista. He’s also Lake Vista’s number one protector, always keeping an eye on things and patrolling the neighborhood on his bike. Recently, Michael served as an altar boy in his neighbor’s wedding. He also LOVES Mardi Gras, and rides in the parade every year and crowns the King. Michael is a very special young man and really goes above and beyond to be a great neighbor to the residents of Lake Vista. As our grand prize winner, Michael got to fly to Los Angeles to watch a live taping of the CBS hit comedy THE NEIGHBORHOOD and meet the celebrity cast members! Check out Michael’s shout-out below from the cast:
Rosie Griep | Blaine, MN
For several years, Rosie has volunteered every day after school at the community youth center in Centennial Square Mobile Home Park, where she supervises a group of kids ages 5-12. She also coordinates and advises a group of teens who perform service projects in the community. Her goal? To give these kids and teens a place to go after school where they can participate in healthy, safe activities. Rosie also helps coordinate a meal recovery program that delivers unused hot lunches from several schools in the area to the residents of the mobile home park each night so that they have food to serve their families for dinner. Rosie is so passionate about being a mentor to the kids and teens she meets at the youth center, and is a huge support to the families who live in the mobile home park. She does all of this as a volunteer and her skills and services are invaluable in making Centennial Square Mobile Home Park a great place to live.
Dave Adams | Nampa, ID
Dave is an Air Force Veteran with a passion for mentoring kids in his community. Originally, Dave began as a volunteer for the Boys and Girls Club. It was his first time working with kids and he quickly learned that this was a way he could make a positive difference in his community. As a disabled veteran, his physical condition kept him from participating in many of the Boys and Girls Club activities, so the director of the program connected him with the Mentoring Network. For the past nine years, Dave has dedicated his time to mentoring kids from challenging backgrounds who are often struggling in school. While he often helps with school work, his primary goal is to be a friend to these kids so that they know they are loved, respected, and, most importantly, not alone.
Rob and Robyn O’Doniel | Council Bluffs, IA
Imagine this: 13 children in the home, 6 grown children on their own, two birds, and a little fluffy white dog. That is the O’Doniel family, the symbol of Great Neighbors. Rob and Roybn have fostered and adopted many children over the years with special needs and children from struggling parents who wouldn’t have had a chance otherwise. They provide these kids with a happy and active life, and a home full of love and laughter. As if having that many kids isn’t enough, all of the kids are in sports, dance, choir, you name it! Further, the O’Doniels have a pool that the entire neighborhood is invited to every summer weekend. Rob opens the grill and cooks for the neighborhood, while Robyn hosts weekly Bunco games and Bachelorette watch parties. In the winter, their garage is a shrine to the Green Bay packers, where they host neighborhood watch parties on the big screen and all of the kids dress in Green Bay clothes. Rob and Robyn have dedicated their lives to these kids and have opened their home to all in their neighborhood.
Cathy Davis – Lumberton, TX
Whether it’s delivering baked goods to welcome a new neighbor, or bringing a hot meal to someone who’s feeling under the weather, Cathy is always there to offer support to a neighbor in need. Planning a party? Cathy will decorate cookies, cupcakes, or cakes for your special event. Hosting a dinner or BBQ? Cathy will be there with the main course, if not the entire meal! Volunteering and giving back to her community are at the core of who she is. After Hurricane Harvey hit Southeast Texas, Cathy volunteered at a local church that was housing and feeding individuals rendered homeless by the floods. She often volunteers to drive neighbors to appointments or pick up goods for them while she’s out running errands. Whatever it may be, Cathy has her neighbors’ backs!
Is there someone in your community that deserves a Good Neighbor Spotlight? Let us know in the comments below!
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