National Good Neighbor Day is September 28, but Ryan Jennings, a Community Bank Branch Supervisor in Brattleboro, V.T., knows being a good neighbor is an everyday thing. Here, he shares his story about what it means to be a good neighbor.
I was approached by a customer in late August of 2017 asking for a donation to the Brattleboro Buddy Walk, an organization dedicated to helping people and families of people with Down syndrome. I’d never known anyone with Down syndrome, personally, but I knew how much it meant to him and that this would be an eye-opening experience for me.
After speaking with him about the event, I offered to do him one better: Not only would I donate, but I offered to walk in support of raising awareness about Down syndrome. He was elated and took my shirt size in anticipation of having another volunteer for the big event. He mentioned excitedly that he would not only be organizing the donation list but would also be serving food after the walk, a task he was most proud to have.
I arrived at the Brattleboro Commons on a rainy Saturday to find a large group of people all wearing the signature Buddy Walk shirts. Everyone was in high spirits in spite of the rain, and the walk began right on schedule. We walked down one side of Main Street, took a small detour through a residential area and back to finish out on the other side of Main Street.
People were cheering, singing and laughing as we crossed the street, no one seeming to mind the traffic being held up as hundreds of people flocked back to the Commons. In the time since we’d left, the second part of the day had begun: the festivities. Umbrellas were tossed to the side as the walkers returned and all afternoon people ate, danced to a live band, and just enjoyed being in the company of people who support and believe in them.
An event such as the Brattleboro Buddy Walk can be rare to find—one that fosters the wellbeing and growth of those in need. The community support was electric, and I feel that Community Bank, N.A. has an obligation to continue its support of the Brattleboro Buddy Walk.
This year, we’ve worked alongside Jim Nicholson, the program’s director, to ensure our continued involvement, and this year’s walk will benefit the Windham County Special Olympics. The CBNA insignia will be on every banner and every shirt, but more importantly, in the hearts of employees and community members alike!
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