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Opportunities to love and engage our neighbors! We want to continue to provide healthy and appropriate opportunities to love and engage our neighbors. Social distancing is important, of course, and we want to abide by the protocols being encouraged from local officials. If you’re able and willing, the wording of the “Safer in Homes” order still lends us the provision to serve the vulnerable and those in need. As much as ever, we desire to be Christians who embrace the least of these. Here are a few opportunities for you to consider:

1. Your Next Door Neighbor– 
We are also seeing how important it is (and will be) to check in on our neighbors. Stories of how our neighborhoods have changed are fascinating to hear: people are out walking more (when it’s not raining!), spreading the word about food drives, and children playing (at a safe social distance!). It demonstrates the need to care for each other and look out for each other, especially those who are susceptible to infection. Please consider how you can engage your neighborhood in healthy ways. You might knock on a neighbor’s door…and then step back 6 feet before they answer! We are evaluating appropriate ways to do this and plan to provide more resources to you that maintain healthy protocol but still allow us to love our neighbors well. If you have ideas please email Andrew Beach at abeach@firstevan.org. 

16 Tips To Engaging Your Neighbors  30 DAYS of PRAYING Through Your NEIGHBORHOOD

2. Encouraging Healthcare Workers and Government Officials– We know our healthcare system is being stretched and challenged during this time. We also know that our government officials are being tested as well—they have difficult decisions to make in these unprecedented times that seem to change daily. If you personally know someone in a healthcare or government position, consider mailing them a card, taking a special treat or meal to their home, or expressing your gratitude in another personal way.
3. Neighborhood Christian Center "Baskets of Love" (written by Carie Alley).  
The economic impact of the temporary closure of "non-essential" businesses has the potential to be devastating to families in our Memphis community. We were inspired by First Evan's food collection for the Neighborhood Christian Center to start our own "Basket of Love" collection on our front porch. The NCC provides emergency food to families in need and we wanted to make sure they had plenty of supplies to serve their community while making it very easy for our neighbors to help at a time when we are all staying close to home. Thanks to the help of friends and neighbors, we were able to deliver a trunk-load of non-perishables to the NCC!  We even had a relative in Atlanta who saw what our family is doing and was inspired to start her own front porch collection for a local ministry. It's our hope that those of us blessed with income during this uncertain time will continue to help restock the NCC's pantry so that they can continue to be a blessing to their neighborhood. Their specific needs at this time are disposable gloves,  hand soap, and non-perishable food items. The NCC makes it easy to drop off by unloading the trunk for you—no need to even leave your car! Just call to let them know you are coming. Contact Andrew Beach if you would like to start your own "Basket of Love" and/or would like First Evan to deliver your basket for you to the Neighborhood Christian Center (785 Jackson Ave, Memphis, TN 38107).

If you'd love to help in any way, contact Andrew Beach.