Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Ranch Residents Spring Into Action

Arlene Wong

As things moved from social distancing to staying at home (except for necessities), our world quickly became the streets and trails of the Ranch. In the past, we’ve always felt blessed to be living at the Ranch, where neighbors and friends would help each other. This was a wonderful part of the culture here. Once this pandemic started, our community’s compassion and genuine support for each other increased ten-fold.

Almost immediately, SBR HOA began to help all of us by offering meals for curb-side pick-up, and shortly thereafter, a much-appreciated Groceries To Go service, including paper products. Residents could even order take-out beer from our terrific brewery. The community’s gratitude extended beyond written words of thanks and tips. A core group of residents started a Go Fund Me account to help our wonderful SBR HOA non-resident staff during this tenuous time. In the first two weeks, there was already close to $10,000 in donations from grateful Ranch residents. Another core group of residents started a Neighbors Helping Neighbors initiative, offering to help pick up groceries and/or meds for those unable to do so.

Yet another group put together a unit-by-unit Calls to Your Neighbor initiative. Additionally, a small army of folks joined the effort to make masks and gave them away to those who needed one. When we walk down the streets, people we pass check in with us and inquire if we’re okay. We don’t know many of these people, but they’re extending themselves in any way they can. A few skilled musical artists/neighbors spontaneously jammed on one of their patios with neighbors listening from the nature trail behind (with social distancing). Our SBR Nextdoor site is filled with helpful up-to-date information on every topic imaginable. Neighbors are hanging hearts and hopeful signs in their windows. Some of us have found uplifting paintings on rocks left anonymously in our front yards. It’s all been heart-warming and helpful, in more ways than we can describe during this most difficult of times.

Many of us have become very familiar with an app called Zoom, which enables individuals to get together periodically as a group online, and stay informed and involved. I look forward to my weekly happy hour via Zoom, with Ranch friends as well as faraway family.

As we continue during these new and uncertain times, it’s heartening that when it comes to demonstrating compassion while practicing social distancing and social responsibility, our community has really risen to the task.

Photography always has been a passion and a way I enjoy expressing myself. So, each day when I’d go out for a walk, I’d bring my camera and would photograph daily life at the Ranch during the time of the coronavirus. Some of those images accompany this article.