In WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Charles B. Barlow, Long Time Supporter of New Milford VNA & Hospice

I am no stranger to sitting on local nonprofit boards, including Hunt Hill Farm, the New Milford Historical Society and the New Milford Hospital Foundation, and hope I have been able to contribute ideas of value based on my experience and energy.

But I am not alone in my hometown pride. We all know people who volunteer their time, their expertise and their funds to make this town a place we call home. Most of us who are cut from this cloth were influenced to behave this way by someone special in their life. In my case, that someone special was my grandmother, Ina Juliette Buckingham Beach, who  was one of the founding members of the New Milford Visiting Nurse Association in 1918.

My early memories of this organization are sketchy. After all, I was too busy playing with friends, riding a bike, and doing all those things that all of us knicker-wearing boys did back in those days. But what I do remember is that grandmother knew how to get things done. With limited resources, this agency dispatched a nurse who traveled by horse and buggy from home to home, taking care of neighbors. And those neighbors took care of other neighbors. It was the ultimate pay-it-forward experience.

It’s easy to romanticize what she and her committee of concerned citizens did, but the real value in sharing this story with you is to invite you to join my ‘Neighbor-Helping-Neighbor’ vision. For example, one donation to New Milford VNA & Hospice can help dispatch a social worker to the home of a family who is struggling to piece together a plan to keep Dad at home. Of course, it’s more complicated than that, but philanthropy has a ripple effect in our community, helping many people through one good act.

I grew up in this town that has grown so much larger since I was a boy. And while bigger can be better in some ways, the most important thing is the relationships we create with one another, as members of a community. I am certainly proud to be part of this one.

Your neighbor,
Charlie Barlow

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