Helena schools partner with Neighborhood Bridges to create a gateway for kindness

FROM STAFF REPORTS

HELENA – Schools in the city of Helena are partnering with Neighborhood Bridges, a charity in Westerville, Ohio, to launch Neighborhood Bridges Helena and create a gateway for kindness.

Neighborhood Bridges was founded and launched in January of 2017 to serve the children, residents and families of Westerville, Ohio. Neighborhood Bridges has engaged local residents and businesses through direct support and care to more than nine communities in Ohio, serving more than 16,000 central Ohio children and families. They have now expanded to seven communities in Alabama, with Helena being one of the latest to join forces with the organization to directly meet the needs of students and families.

“We believe in people. We believe that when presented with opportunities for kindness, our communities will come together,” Richard Bannister, CEO of Neighborhood Bridges said. “We support these acts of kindness across our bridge, advocate for one another, identify needs, and offer support and donations to help fill those needs.”

School leaders in all Helena schools, including administrators, teachers, and counselors, will advocate for students and families in need. Neighborhood Bridges technology will be utilized to unite the community by helping to facilitate a simple and easy-to-use two-step process to identify, publish and then fill the needs. These might include food, clothing, shoes, coats, eye exams, school supplies, school fees, furniture, household items and other donations as identified.

“Our community always comes to the assistance of those in need,” Helena High School Principal April Brand said. “Neighborhood Bridges Helena provides a unified way for the Helena community to wrap their arms around students in need. We are thankful for the support of this wonderful community, and its city leaders, as we work together to meet the needs of our students.”

“The Helena community has such a giving spirit and is always willing to lend a hand to those in need,” Helena Elementary School Principal Jeff Norris said. “We are excited to partner with various stakeholders to ensure our students are set up for success each day.”

Various “opportunities for kindness” will be posted onto the website link, Neighborhoodbridges.org/community/helena-al, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages specific to Neighborhood Bridges Helena. Links to those social media pages are: Facebook.com/neighborhoodbridgesHelena, Twitter.com/neighborhoodbr3, and Instagram.com/neighborhoodbridges_helena/.

Individuals will also be able to subscribe to emails from the website link, in order to be notified when a new “opportunity for kindness” is posted. Donors will be able to anonymously fill a need through either a monetary donation or by dropping off requested items at any of the three Helena Fire Department stations. The fire department will then deliver the kindness donations to the designated school.

“We always stand ready to assist our students and their families that may be in need during times of difficulty in our community and I commend the effort by parents, school officials and staff on this great endeavor,” Helena Mayor Mark Hall said. “I appreciate the invitation for us to be a part of the Neighborhood Bridges program by partnering for the use of our fire stations as drop off points and look forward to helping the program be successful in every way possible.”