By: Claude Milot
Photo Credit: Paula FitzPatrick

When Gary Haugh chose Sound Golf Links to stage GPro-Tour’s championship, it was be-cause of Albemarle Plantation’s great community sup-port for the BIGGS Classic. Over the years, more than 100 AP residents have stepped up to house, feed, and support the tour’s young pros, and to volunteer on the course throughout the tournament.

But volunteering is nothing new to Albemarle Plantation. Volunteers have painted the miles of fencing on the Back 40, built the Pro Shop pavilion, installed sound proofing in both restaurants, refurbished marina pedestals, rebuilt the back deck at Dockside, and even created a dog park. There seems to be no limit to what the volunteers of AP can and will do. And that goes for helping anyone in need.

Enter Carl Lofhjelm and his wife Joan with an idea: why not formalize a system for residents to ask for help from their neighbors. He himself was motivated to do so when he stepped in to help a long-time friend and neighbor who had lost his spouse and was in dramatic need of help to save his life.
So, Carl and Steve Harris designed a website called Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and the Board of Directors gave its approval to use APPOA Nabr as a link to the site.

A perfect example of how such a system might work came on June 21 when Paula FitzPatrick called Carl and asked if he could find her some help to move a heavy piece of furniture, a railroad luggage cart her son Brendon had bought from an eclectic store located in Elizabeth City and re-purposed as a coffee table. Brendon needed to move it out of his home temporarily while he did some redecorating, so he brought it to Paula’s house in Belmont. But the thing was too heavy for him to move into Paula’s living room.

Before long, Bob Petersen, Rick Minoski, and Paul Weiss showed up to help Brendon unload his truck and move the railroad cart to the living room. Paula loves it there. The rumor is that when Brendon returns to reclaim his table, Paula may invoke that old idiom: “Possession is nine-tenths of the law.”
There are many more examples of NHN providing help for those in need, such as for shopping, food preparation, transportation for a doctor’s appointment, etc.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors is now an unincorporated association structured somewhat like CERT with a Program Coordinator (Carl), Program Administrator (Joan), Community Manager (Steve), members (78 and counting), volunteers and “guardians” in each neighborhood, a mission statement, even insurance.

For all the details, go to the AP Nabr network, and under Residents scroll down to Groups to find Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Or from your web browser go directly to the NHN website at: this link: https://www.neighborshelpingneighbors.services/

Want to know how to find help? Want to become a member volunteer or guardian? This and much more is all there for you to check out on the NHN website. Like the website says, “Experience the sheer joy of helping a neighbor in need.”