Thursday, April 10, 2014


"My phone is ringing", is the thought I'm having as I glance at the alarm clock next to my bed.  The glowing numbers reveal that it is 7:38 a.m. on this Saturday morning.  Glancing at the phone, I don't recognize the number, but I know it must be important.  From my "Hello" a conversation begins that would inspire me for the rest of the day.

The caller began by telling me how much he had enjoyed the "Be My Valentine" Community Social back in February. He explained that he felt there was a genuine desire amongst the JCN group to make each guest feel "LOVED" and how he had enjoyed himself and wanted to know how he could become a member of the network.  His expressions wasn't anything I hadn't heard before, yet a grateful feeling engulfed me just the same.  Grateful because something as simple as passing out hot dogs, chips, drinks and cupcakes to the public would touch the hearts of so many.  

Upon entering the community room on Valentine's Day, guest were greeted with a big smile and warm welcome from the host and hostess with the mostest - Vonzel Reynolds and Anita Salters.  The bright cheerful personalities of both caused the guest to immediately feel like it was party time.  So just as the caller, each guest decided to just "enjoy" themselves.  As  guest passed through the buffet line, Maggie Reshard served each one with an attitude of acceptance that charged the atmosphere even more. I can truly say that the meaning behind Valentine's Day was being fulfilled within the room.  

As each guest sat down to have lunch, introductions and conversation began to flow effortlessly.  The  laughs and exchange of information ranging from common interests to business collaborations, was the music of the room.  The melodious chatter of senior citizens, college students, artists, entrepreneurs, church and community youth filled the room of B.L. Perry Library.  The beautiful scene was one that even now, more than a month later brings a smile to my heart.  

The caller and myself laughed about the funny photo booth pictures and agreed that it was such a great addition to the event.  Witnessing the transformation of strangers into a community was the highlight of the activity. Seeing each guest cheering the other on during their individual photo session was priceless.  Our double duty volunteer Vonzel Reynolds helped the guest embody the essence of the characters they created, as our photographer.  With his direction, the guest let go and just allowed the fun, cheerful, and carefree side of their personality to show forth.

Truly the photos alone tell the story of the colorful characters thought up in the minds of the guest, yet having been apart of the live experience brings up memories that cause me to throw my head back and laugh out loud. 

For many in the charitable community the word "outreach" is comprised of the passing out of supplies in various forms to those in the community, however, to JCN Inc. it is much more than the giving of material items.  The emotional, mental, and spiritual connections that are fostered in association with any outreach events we host is the most important aspect.  This event brought all aspects into full fruition.  The proof being the caller on the other end of the phone.

Although the addition of a new member is wonderful, the fact that he will join a network of persons that share the same commitment towards helping others is awesome.  The event was the result of a combined effort of JCN Inc. members and community supporters such as:  

Donald R. Howard

Robert Thomas Jr.

Anita Salters

Jasmin McMillian

Grady Monroe

Brown Brothers Cleaning

Vonzel Reynolds

Maggie Reshard

Voncil Evans

Felicia Wyche - Johnson

Kathy and Evelyn Paramore

Lee and Kimberly Thomas

Glory Brown

Leslie Patterson

Leon County 
Health Department

Bond Community
Health Center

Country Club
Community Center

Touched By Angels Daycare Center

What a great bunch of people. We were fortunate to be able  to make the Valentine's Day of others one that was filled with food, fun, and friendship.  Showing Love can be contagious in the best kind of way.

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