Neighbors pitch in to help young family in need

Neighbors pitch in to help young family in need
More than 28 residents from the Colonial Manor neighborhood joined together to clean up the yard for their neighbors, Emily and Glen Wieger.

It was a living demonstration of the Biblical adage, “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.”

Out of the goodness of their hearts, 28 Colonial Manor residents spent the late afternoon Nov. 5 cleaning up and landscaping the yard at their neighbor’s Mapleton Road home.

Emily and Glen Wieger with seven-week-old Teddy

Emily and Glen Wieger with seven-week-old Teddy

The neighbors were called to action by Suzanne Honeycutt, who learned that Emily and Glen Wieger were struggling after their son, Teddy, was born with complications Sept. 15. Forced to spend 29 days in Wolfson Children’s Hospital’s neo-natal unit, Teddy had returned home with his parents three weeks before.

“This is a great young couple, and we just wanted to love them by helping them out,” said Honeycutt. 

The Wiegers, who have lived on Mapleton Road for four years, recently spent nearly a year staying with Emily’s mother, Pernie Gilbert, while their home was renovated, and a new addition built.

“As first-time parents, it’s been kind of a whirlwind to get accumulated. Teddy eats every two hours, so we are kind of exhausted. I don’t know when we would have done it,” Emily said, referring to the yard clean up. “As we have been adjusting to a new life as parents taking care of a baby, I am learning that your housework and sleep go by the wayside. It’s really sweet that our neighbors decided to go down and help.”

“The Wiegers had moved back in three days after living with Pernie,” explained Honeycutt. “They were thrilled it was all coming together – move in, baby born, come back, finish the fine-tuning on the house. But since Teddy returned from the hospital, Glen has slept on the floor in the nursery next to the bed and Emily sleeps in the rocker. They are teaming him 24/7. Obviously, they didn’t have time for this. They were embarrassed because the yard didn’t look like the rest of the neighborhood and I said, ‘That we can fix. We can’t fix Teddy, but we can fix this.’”

Included among some of the neighbors who assisted with the clean up were the Barnett family – Michelle, Richard and children Jacqueline, Madeline and Rawls, John Searcy, the Leonard family – Sharon, Michael, Liam and Anna, Kyle Harper, Keith Hutchison, Cathy Onur, Kim and Dallas Alexander, Cecile and Robert Rider, Tia Colao, Patty Price, Elmyra Morris, Stevie Schoof of St. Nicholas, Ian and Caroline Stake, and Joe Honeycutt.

“We live across the street, and our neighbors need something, so we’re helping out,” said Searcy. “I’ve done that all my life when somebody needs something. I learned it as a child through Scouting and in church,” he said, noting he and his two brothers were Eagle Scouts, as were his two sons and two grandsons.

Michelle Barnett, whose three children helped rake the lawn and pick up debris, said it is important for kids to learn how to help other people.

“In the world we are living in, we want them to grow up knowing you’ve got to help others in tough times. I think we live in a fabulous community where people come together to help regardless of what the need is, even if it is just to pray, do yard work, cook meals, or lend a listening ear.”

Although the Wiegers do not attend Southside United Methodist Church (SUMC), members of that congregation have regularly prayed for Teddy since they learned of his plight.

“We’ve had a lot of people praying for him,” said Emily, noting a SUMC prayer group has prayed for him regularly every Tuesday. “Suzanne has made him one of their projects,” she said.

“We do it because we’re community,” said church member Ian Stake. “Teddy was a month in the hospital but he’s home now, and we’re all very excited about it. We will continue to pray for him,” he said.

Even though she is not acquainted with the Wiegers, Kim Alexander still decided to join the group. “God bless them. It’s the neighborly thing to do,” she said.

Cecile Rider and her husband agreed. “We were just inspired. We have never met this sweet couple, but their story touched our hearts, and we wanted to be here to help out,” she said.

Emily Wieger said her family is grateful to live in such a giving community. “It’s reassuring when things like this happen to you, the kind of people who are cleaning up at our house are around,” she said. “We are grateful Teddy gets to see that and grow up around such selfless acts. It’s just awesome.”

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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