Neighbor to Neighbor 10th anniversary celebration attracts friends old and new

May 22, 2019 by  

Neighbor to Neighbor of Concordia, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph, opened their doors on May 10 and invited friends, volunteers and the entire community to celebrate their 10th anniversary.

“The years have gone by so fast, it just seems like yesterday that we started making plans for N2N and here we are 10 years later. It was such a gift getting to see and visit with dear friends who have been with us since the beginning, and getting to meet new friends who had never been into Neighbor to Neighbor,” said Sister Ramona Medina, one of the founding Sisters of N2N.

“It was delightful seeing how our guests were enjoying visiting with one another and surprised to see samples of some of the projects that our guests are engaged in,” Sister Ramona said.

More than 100 people visited N2N, located at 103 E. 6th Street, in Concordia, and enjoyed tours, greeting friends and viewing many of the projects that were in progress.

And of course, there were delicious treats, including cookies made by N2N volunteers. Door prizes included homemade wheat bread, gift certificates to the Motherhouse Gift Shop and children’s books.

New director of Neighbor to Neighbor, Sister Missy Ljungdahl, said, “I think one take away for me was the people who came in from town who said they had never been into the place and were really glad to know about it.

There was a great sense of community during the event.

“People were wanting to meet their friends there and they met lots of them and stayed for awhile,” Sister Missy said. “I am so grateful for all the sisters that came to help and enjoyed visiting with so many others.”

Greeting the guests were the original co-founders, Sisters Ramona Medina, Pat McLennon and Jean Befort, along with administrative assistant Myrna Shelton and director Sister Missy.

“N2N couldn’t have been a success without our dedicated staff, Myrna, volunteers and the support of you, our generous donors. It has been such a joy and life-giving
ministry getting to meet so many fantastic women, mothers and children. We have learned so much from one another and I am grateful,” said Sister Ramona. “We have spread our wings and have reached out to our dear neighbors in developing countries through our prayers, making over 2,000 dresses, shorts and shoes to make their lives more comfortable.”

More than 10 years ago, Neighbor to Neighbor founders Sisters Pat McLennon, Jean Befort and Ramona Medina came up with the idea of a support center for women and women with young children. These founders came up with a plan, approached the Sisters of St. Joseph council, and with the gracious help of the council, the maintenance staff of the Sisters of St. Joseph, volunteers and the community, made the Neighbor to Neighbor of today a reality. Neighbor to Neighbor works closely to coordinate with other community resources so that services are needlessly duplicated.

“We met with a lot of social agencies before we started to see if there was a need,” Sister Pat said. “We didn’t want to duplicate things that were already being done.”

“It doesn’t even seem possible that it’s been 10 years,” said Sister Jean. “It has far exceeded my expectations.”

The center offers classes in baking, cooking, painting, exercise, sewing and crafting, as well as supervised play times for young children. Many of the women just stop by to enjoy the camaraderie, a cup of coffee, a game of cards and catching up with friends. There are even laundry facilities available. All of the classes are free.

For more information about Neighbor to Neighbor, email neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org or call 785-262-4215.

 

Neighbor to Neighbor to celebrate 10th anniversary of helping Concordia

May 10, 2019 by  

Neighbor to Neighbor will celebrate their 10th anniversary from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 10, at their facility located at 103 E. 6th Street, Concordia.

The public is invited to celebrate this amazing milestone for the community along with the sisters and volunteers that make this facility come alive. Everyone is invited to tour the center, enjoy refreshments and learn more about Neighbor to Neighbor and the programs, classes, services and activities it provides, all free of charge.

What is Neighbor to Neighbor?

Neighbor to Neighbor was the dream of three sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia who wanted to make a difference in the world. And sometimes making a difference begins in your own backyard.

Neighbor to Neighbor founders Sisters Pat McLennon, Jean Befort and Ramona Medina came up with the idea of a support center for women and women with young children. These founders came up with a plan, approached the Sisters of St. Joseph council, and with the gracious help of the council, the maintenance staff of the Sisters of St. Joseph, volunteers and the community, made the Neighbor to Neighbor of today a reality. Neighbor to Neighbor works closely to coordinate with other community resources so that services are not needlessly duplicated.

“We met with a lot of social agencies before we started to see if there was a need,” Sister Pat said. “We didn’t want to duplicate things that were already being done.”

“It doesn’t even seem possible that it’s been 10 years,” said Sister Jean. “It has far exceeded my expectations.”

The center offers classes in baking, cooking, painting, exercise, sewing and crafting, as well as supervised play times for young children. Many of the women just stop by to enjoy the camaraderie, a cup of coffee, a game of cards and catching up with friends. There are even laundry facilities available. All of the classes are free.

The dream focused on an old building downtown that needed a lot of renovation

“When the sisters approached me about creating a center for women and small children, there wasn’t a clear understanding to me on of how this was going to work,” said Greg Gallagher, facilities manager for the Sisters of St. Joseph. “Sisters Pat, Ramona and Jean shared thoughts and ideas.

“We put them on paper and created a plan, gave the plan to the Motherhouse maintenance staff, and created N2N,” Gallagher said. “What an outstanding creation this ministry became to the community!”

The maintenance staff and volunteers gutted the building and completely redesigned it to be the most useful for the sisters’ needs with a full kitchen, laundry, play room, art studio, offices and storage.

Longtime Concordians may remember earlier uses for the 1888 two-story building: An appliance and TV store, a Sears catalog center, a bar, an upstairs roller-skating rink in the years around World War II and an auto dealership sometime before that.

“We’ve been here for 10 years and haven’t had to repaint a thing,” Sister Pat said. “The women here have really taken care of it. It looks like new.”

Volunteers and community make a difference

Volunteers continue to pay a vital role at Neighbor to Neighbor today, teaching classes, helping in the kitchen and just providing a sympathetic ear.

“The Concordia community has really stepped up to the plate to help us,” Sister Pat said. “That spirit has continued, and has surprised me. We have had volunteers like Theresa Peltier and Sandra Detrixhe that have been with us since practically the beginning.”

Detrixhe has been helping people learn to quilt for nearly all of those 10 years.

“I’ve helped people learn to make their very first quilt. It’s an amazing feeling.” Detrixhe said. “This place is a family, a friendship. I get as much from being here as I give.”

“This is just a fabulous, fabulous place,” volunteer Cynthia Myers said. “We’re lucky to have this facility in our community. It was necessary and needed. I never dreamed we’d have a place like this in Concordia.”

Myrna Shelton, administrative assistant at Neighbor to Neighbor, keeps her hands busy in all the activities.

“I am grateful every day to be here. Every day is different, there is always something new,” Shelton said. “The main thing is to be present and listen to people. There is nothing else I’d rather be doing.”

In 2019, the Neighbor to Neighbor staff transitioned with the addition of new Director Sister Missy Ljungdahl. She returned to Concordia in July and has been learning the ropes and making relationships with the guests and volunteers.

“I love what Neighbor to Neighbor has done for Concordia,” Ljungdahl said. “The sisters have done an exquisite job of creating this place. I want to really listen and see that the needs of the community are met.”

“It has been such a joy to see our women create beauty, whether in painting an crafts and through creating beauty they are able to see their own inner beauty,” said Sister Ramona.

And the women have created friendships and bonds that go beyond just themselves. Many spend time making items to help people in other countries, such as clothing and shoes for children, or items for newborn infants.

“The way they’ve grown to help and support each other is such a surprise,” Sister Pat said. “And it’s been a wonderful ministry for an older group to have something to look forward to every day.

“It’s a dream come true,” Sister Pat continued. “And it’s all because of the people, the community.”

“They are truly present to one another … listening and helping one another,” Sister Ramona said.

For more information about Neighbor to Neighbor, email neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org or call 785-262-4215.

Santa is a special guest at Neighbor to Neighbor

December 20, 2018 by  

Neighbor to Neighbor’s annual Christmas party wasn’t complete until Santa Claus himself showed up and gave out presents to all of the N2N kids.

Every year the Sisters, staff and volunteers at Neighbor to Neighbor host a Christmas party for all of the women and children who regularly visit. This year’s party began at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, with a special lunch and dessert for all.

The women were able to guess the number of candies in a candy jar to win it. Gloria Berkstrom was the lucky winner.

The kids ate lunch upstairs, but they were anxious to see Santa. As soon as he arrived he was asked, “Who is your favorite reindeer?”

St. Nick laughed and said, “Well I can’t tell you that. They get jealous.”

Every child got a chance to sit on Santa’s lap and received a present wrapped in a fabric bag made by Myrna Shelton, Sister Ramona Medina and Vicki Menard.

One present started to vibrate and make noises as he handed it to Andrew Crosson, 4, of Concordia.

“Wow!” Santa exclaimed. “That even scared Santa!”

“He was a wonderful Santa,” Sister Jean Befort said after Ol’ Saint Nick disappeared in a twinkle.

Neighbor to Neighbor is a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia located at 103 E. Sixth St., Concordia.

‘The Night Before Christmas’ featured book at Reading with Friends

December 11, 2018 by  

Neighbor to Neighbor has a very special book planned for this month’s Reading with Friends — “The Night Before Christmas,” by Clement C. Moore.

Since it was first published anonymously in 1823, “The Night Before Christmas” has enchanted children with the story of St. Nicholas climbing down the chimney and filling all the stockings before springing back to his sleigh. Many families read the poem every year, and this is an edition to treasure. The cherished verse is faithfully reproduced and accompanied by illustrator Charles Santore’s lavish illustrations.

Reading this most-loved poem is a classic family tradition and adds a magical component to every child’s Christmas!

The book will be read by special guest Curtis Genereux.

Story time will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14.

The story times for children 3 to 5 years old are on the second Fridays of the month and all begin at 10 a.m. at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. Sixth St. Each session includes playtime and a snack for the children, plus each child will receive a free copy of that day’s book to take home.

There is a limit of 30 children per session so parents must register in advance. Call Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215 or email neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org.

The monthly program has been a part of Neighbor to Neighbor’s regular offerings since September 2012. The next Reading with Friends events will be Jan. 11.

This year’s Reading with Friends is made possible thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation for Cloud County.

 

Neighbor to Neighbor and Kansas SNAP-Ed partner for the community

November 30, 2018 by  

Kansas SNAP-Ed is offering a series of basic nutrition classes this December at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. Sixth, Concordia. These classes are free of charge and all are welcome. Childcare is provided.

According to Kaitlin Moore, K-State Research and Extension District SNAP-Ed Program Assistant, each class will cover a different topic. Topics will include:
•  Food safety
•  How to increase fruit and vegetable consumption
•  Meal planning
•  How to spot the best deals at the grocery store
•  How to navigate the nutrition facts label
•  How to increase physical activity

Participants are encouraged to attend all classes

Participants will taste-test a simple, budget-friendly recipe at each class.
Recipes include:
•  Mini meatloaves
•  Chicken broccoli quiche
•  Stir-fry
•  Lasagna
•  Tuna burgers
•  Oven-baked chicken nuggets

Participants will also receive a couple kitchen tools to help them be safer and better-prepared home cooks.

Classes will be from 10 to 11 a.m. on Dec. 3, 5, 10, 12, 17 and 19.
Neighbor to Neighbor is located at 103 E. Sixth St., Concordia.
While the classes are free, please register in advance to make enough supplies are available.
Please register with one of the following:
Kaitlin Moore (785) 527-5084 or kaitli3@ksu.edu
Neighbor to Neighbor (785) 262-4215 or neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org

“The Pout-Pout Fish” to be featured book at Reading with Friends

November 5, 2018 by  

Swim along with the pout-pout fish at Neighbor to Neighbor as he discovers that being glum and spreading “dreary wearies” isn’t really his destiny.

Bright ocean colors and playful rhyme come together in Deborah Diesen’s fun fish story, “The Pout-Pout Fish,” that’s sure to turn even the poutiest of frowns upside down.

The book will be read by special guest Suzan Haver.

Story time will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9.

The story times for children 3 to 5 years old are on the second Fridays of the month and all begin at 10 a.m. at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. Sixth St. Each session includes playtime and a snack for the children, plus each child will receive a free copy of that day’s book to take home.

There is a limit of 30 children per session so parents must register in advance. Call Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215 or email neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org.

The monthly program has been a part of Neighbor to Neighbor’s regular offerings since September 2012. The next Reading with Friends events will be Dec. 14.

This year’s Reading with Friends is made possible thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation for Cloud County.

Reading with Friends to start Sept. 14 at Neighbor to Neighbor

September 5, 2018 by  

Have you ever moved to a new town or started a new school and had a hard timing making new friends?

Then you might identify with the story of “Peanut Butter & Cupcake!” by Terry Border, this month’s featured book at Reading with Friends at Neighbor to Neighbor.

Border, the photographer behind the “Bent Objects” project, wrote and photographed this hilarious and heartwarming story about fun, friendship and food. The bright, colorful pages will be displayed on the wall while the story is being read.

Story time will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept 14. Sister Missy Ljungdahl will be the guest reader.

The story times for children 3 to 5 years old are on the second Fridays of the month and all begin at 10 a.m. at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. Sixth St. Each session includes playtime and a snack for the children, plus each child will receive a free copy of that day’s book to take home.

There is a limit of 30 children per session so parents must register in advance. Call Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215 or email neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org.

The monthly program has been a part of Neighbor to Neighbor’s regular offerings since September 2012.

Upcoming Reading with Friends events will be Oct. 12, Nov. 9 and Dec. 14.

This year’s Reading with Friends is made possible thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation for Cloud  County.

Annual Neighbor to Neighbor Holiday Boutique returns Saturday, Nov. 17

August 13, 2018 by  

The artisans at Neighbor to Neighbor create with all kinds of materials — acrylics and oils, embroidery floss and ribbon, and (of course) sugar, flour, eggs, butter and chocolate.

And all that “art” will be for sale at the seventh annual Holiday Boutique & Bake Sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at the downtown center, 103 E. Sixth St., Concordia.

Items featured in the boutique include one-of-a-kind jewelry, handcrafted holiday décor, artwork, knit scarves and hats, quilted items, children’s clothes and toys, women’s apparel and unique handkerchief dresses for girls. The always popular bake sale will feature cookies, candies, breads and other goodies. All the items are made by the women who come to the center, along with friends and supporters of the Sisters of St. Joseph who operate Neighbor to Neighbor.

There also will be a silent auction and a drawing for five prizes:

• A trunk full of chocolate
• A hand-crafted quilt
• A baby doll in a basket
• A sled full of coffee and tea
• A Barbie doll with a wicker-trunk wardrobe.

Tickets for the drawings are available at Neighbor to Neighbor; the Nazareth Motherhouse, 1300 Washington St.; and Manna House of Prayer, 323 E. Fifth St., Concordia. Tickets cost $1 each, or six tickets for $5. The drawing will be at 2 p.m. You need not be present to win.

Proceeds from the annual Holiday Boutique go to support the women and ministries of Neighbor to Neighbor.

‘Fancy Nancy’ will be the next offering at Reading with Friends

April 17, 2018 by  

Have you ever wished that your life was just a bit more posh? And maybe you would like it if your family would just dress up a bit more?

Then you might identify with “Fancy Nancy,” this month’s featured book at Reading with Friends at Neighbor to Neighbor.

Story time will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, April 20. Megan Nuff will be the guest reader.

The story times for children 3 to 5 years old are usually on the second Fridays of the month and all begin at 10 a.m. at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. Sixth St. April’s session was moved back a week due to Kindergarten Round-up. Each session includes playtime and a snack for the children, plus each child will receive a free copy of that day’s book to take home.

There is a limit of 30 children per session so parents must register in advance. Call Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215 or email neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org.

The monthly program has been a part of Neighbor to Neighbor’s regular offerings since September 2012.

This year’s Reading with Friends is made possible thanks to a generous donation from Betty Drake of Beloit.

Get ready for Spring Fling at Neighbor to Neighbor

March 8, 2018 by  

The women of Neighbor to Neighbor invite the community to celebrate a Spring Fling with them March 9 and 10. Baked goods, crafts, spring dresses, Easter decorations, paper poppies, aprons and artwork will all be on display and for sale at Neighbor to Neighbor at 103 E. Sixth St, Concordia.

An early “sneak peek” will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, March 9 following the monthly Reading with Friends. Everyone is invited.

On Saturday, March 10, Neighbor to Neighbor will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for everyone who didn’t have a chance to visit on Friday. All proceeds go to benefit the programs for women and children that N2N provides.

Visitors can expect the usual outstanding baked goods that are always a highlight of any Neighbor to Neighbor event. Other items include hand-sewn spring dresses, hand-crafted Easter items, gifts and much more.

Sister Jean Befort said that events like “Spring Fling” encourage teamwork among the women that visit Neighbor to Neighbor.

“The women have enjoyed working on these crafts so much,” Sister Jean said. “A lot of these projects take a lot of teamwork. So it gets a lot of people involved. It motivates them to come back the next day. They are always looking forward to the next project.”

For more information, call Neighbor to Neighbor at (785) 262-4215 or email neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/N2NConcordia/

Next Page »