When an elderly neighbor with no spouse or children recently fell ill and is thus on bed rest in the hospital, it was time to lend a helping hand. I sent an email to two other neighbors, suggesting we perhaps get some things together for him to brighten his hospital room, to let him know we are thinking of him, and to just offer general cheer and support. He got cards, books, plants, chocolate, shortbread cookies, and CDs. His favorite, though, was a framed picture of his dog that he misses so much! His smile lit up the room when he saw the framed picture of his much-loved (and much-missed!) dog.

Emotional health is important when trying to heal from an illness, and hopefully the happiness our neighbor gets from seeing his dog, and knowing the neighborhood is thinking about him and sending support, will hurry the recovery along.