North Riverside, IL

Residents gather to mark the 25th anniversary of the Neighborhood Services Committee. (Credit: Tina Valentino)

There is no competition when it comes to the village of North Riverside. Neighbors, strangers and village staff are more than fun and nice: They are genuinely caring, compassionate and concerned about those around them, 24/7. From sharing garden vegetables, shoveling snow, mowing lawns, driving to doctor appointments, donating unused items, paying utility bills, kids writing cards to the elderly and giving struggling, depressed residents a reason to smile, youth scholarships where no one is turned away, no place in the country comes close. For more than 25 years, residents have made the Golden Rule the town mantra and it has changed lives, including my own — and I don’t live there. I wish I did. God bless 3,000 of the most caring people in the USA.

The town even has an active Neighborhood Services committee that helps all residents in need — they’ve even written a manual on how to do so!

Stories About North Riverside

One time, a captain chose to give a little live Christmas tree to a man who was very ill. He was touched by the little tree since he had no decorations in his room and remained in bed always. The next day, we received a phone call from his niece. She said, “Thank you so much for what you have done. After the captain left, my uncle asked if we could drive him around town to see all the decorations. We had been asking him to do this, but he refused to try and now he wanted to go out.” She said she had tears in her eyes. A few months later, we learned he passed away but we felt great joy that we had made his last Christmas on earth a little happier.

There was a power outage on one side of a block for over 30 hours. A neighbor ran borrowed extension cords to her neighbors on the other side of the street so that could get power to turn her oxygen on. The Public Works employees stopped by to place two protective barriers to protect the cord that was running across the street. Other neighbors stored food in their refrigerators. And another neighbor started a generator for a family with frail individuals.

There was a block party get together and a couple on the block was invited for three years and had never come. Finally, the third year they came out. All the neighbors gave them a round of applause. Even the mailman was invited and came to that party. No one is left out. There are hundreds of other stories:

Helping around the holidays

North Riverside’s community care manual

Neighborhood Services helps neighbors connect

Children attend a Neighborhood Services meeting to talk about how they help out, too! (Credit: Tina Valentino)
More children talking about their service. (Credit: Tina Valentino)

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