From all of us at Nextdoor, we want to thank our heroic neighbors across the country who have served and sacrificed for the common good of communities everywhere. Nextdoor’s mission is to help empower neighbors to build stronger local communities and our brave veterans have allowed us to live up to that goal each day.
In honor of Veterans Day, we want our neighbors to take inspiration from the following neighborhoods around the country for ways you can celebrate and support the veterans in your community.
When disabled veteran Thomas D. fell on hard times and lost his job, he posted on Nextdoor to ask if any neighbors would be willing to drive him to a job interview. Dozens of neighbors offered to help, but his post especially touched neighbor Kira B.’s heart, whose own brother struggled with similar issues after returning from the Marines. Thanks to Kira’s generosity, Thomas made it to the interview and was offered the job! When Kira asked if he needed any additional help, he mentioned his pantry was a bit bare. Immediately, nearly 45 Nextdoor neighbors came together to donate food, clothes, gift cards, and future rides to help Thomas get back on his feet.
Los Gatos, CA
When Kathy K. met a young veteran living in a temporary homeless shelter in California, she was determined to help. He had suffered brain injuries from combat and his mother had moved from Georgia to help him get the necessary medical treatment. Eventually, the veteran and his mother were extremely grateful to move into their own apartment, bringing them one step closer to independence. When Kathy visited and noticed they were using an ironing board for a kitchen table and didn’t have any furniture, she reached out to her neighbors on Nextdoor to see if anyone had home goods to donate. Kathy’s Nextdoor post received 127 comments from neighbors eager to help furnish the apartment. Complete strangers rallied around this family, took them grocery shopping, bought a brand new TV, and donated enough furniture to fill the entire two bedroom apartment. One neighbor was even able to collect over $140 in quarters to ensure they would be able to do laundry. The veteran and his mother remain incredibly humble and thankful for the outpouring of support they received from their community.
West Palm Beach, FL
With limited mobility and PTSD, veteran and retired police officer Dawn M. had difficulty making home repairs. After exhausting all of her options, she posted on Nextdoor asking neighbors for help around the house and received hundreds of responses from neighbors she had never met. Over 20 neighbors, including licensed contractors, volunteered their time and resources to make nearly $10,000 worth of repairs on Dawn’s home.
Joe W. noticed an elderly neighbor struggling to clear yard waste from his lawn. The 80-year-old Vietnam veteran was wheezing from emphysema when he explained the county had given him a deadline to clean his overgrown yard. Joe gathered a group of 20 neighbors from Nextdoor and spent the next three days with chainsaws and brushcutters to help bring their neighbor’s yard under control. Joe shared, “We’d like to have neighbors help neighbors instead of causing problems or being negative about their situations.”
El Dorado Hills, CA
Each morning, 95-year-old Wally wakes up early to greet kids on their way to school with fist-bumps and “Wallyisms” – original sayings that promote love and kindness. After serving in World War II and the Korean War, Wally R. found comfort in spreading positivity, sharing that “hate and anger leads you nowhere; spending time in war shapes what kind of person you want to be and see in the world.” Even at 95 years young, Wally is quick witted and very active on Nextdoor. For years, Wally has used Nextdoor to connect with his community. When Wally fell ill, his Nextdoor Neighborhood came together in worry posting “Where’s Wally?” and in turn gathering a group of nearly 60 neighbors to visit him in the hospital and wish him a speedy recovery. Before joining Nextdoor, Wally had no idea how important he was to his community. He says that joining Nextdoor has been the best way to reach his neighbors and stay connected with those who care most about him.
David comes from a family of serviceman and has been giving back to his Phoenix community for 20 years. His experiences have given him deep respect for the veterans in his community, many of whom are homeless and unemployed. When his wife, Sherri, noticed a post on Nextdoor about a veteran named Chad looking for work, they were able to offer him a dishwashing job at their local restaurant. Months later, Chad was one of their most valued employees and David and Sherri turned to Nextdoor once again to ask for donations of furniture to help Chad fill his empty apartment. Neighbors were thrilled to have an opportunity to help support Chad and donated furniture, gift cards, and clothing. Thanks to the entire community’s support, Chad was able to save enough money to go back to school to pursue a Computer Science degree, and David and Sherri began searching for another veteran in need to work at their restaurant.
Army veteran Kelly G. has spent his entire life serving others. He was disabled after serving in Desert Storm, lost his wife to a brain aneurysm, and became a single parent to his 5-year-old daughter. Despite these many hardships, Kelly has remained an influential member of his community by combining his bike repair skills with his desire to help people. Using donations from neighbors on Nextdoor, Kelly builds, refurbishes, and offers bicycles to children and neighbors who are struggling financially. “Sometimes there’s kids out there that have never had a bike… a bike is kind of like their first freedom.” Kelly refuses to accept any form of payment since helping his community makes him feel rich enough.
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