Caleb Couch and his wife, Rachel, wanted to do something to help those in need in the community. The couple decided to use Facebook to communicate their willingness to help and Rachel sought out a group that was set up to do just that. The group is called Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and members follow these very simple rules:
• If you need it, ask for it.
• If you have it and don’t need it, give it to someone who does.
• No cash or fundraising, just help.
Mayor Jerry Jackson became aware of the couple's work and decided to recognize them by introducing them to the Harrison City Council and the community by bestowing upon them the first Good Neighbor Award.
"We want to recognize a person or persons who want to help people or spread good will around our community. There are so many people we could recognize in this way. This first award we want to go to Caleb and Rachel Couch," Jackson said.
In a way of introduction, April Matthews, an administrator with the group, said the community recently responded to victims of a house fire, helping meet their needs and to clean up the property. Many other people have come forward over the past six weeks to offer their expertise to people in need. To date 3,886 members have joined the group. These are individuals, local businesses, churches and the mayor, she said.
The couple then came forward to meet the council. Rachel Couch said she was excited when she learned they were being recognized by the city council.
"I almost felt guilty," she said. "All I did was create a page and the community took off with it."
It took a huge group of people who have been doing this longer who are so much more deserving, she said. Others built the foundation for what is going on here, she said. It's all about the community. It's an awesome place to be and be a part of.
Jackson said he became aware of the couple after he saw the Facebook page go up.
"I knew how successful it was going to be,” Jackson said. “I knew the value of it."
He said he was afraid the couple would quickly get burned out. Not long after talking to Rachel the organization was helping tear down a house at Green Forest.
"Please, slow down,” he told the couple. “Take your time, because I would like this thing to last forever. It makes so much sense."
Jackson told the Daily Times said such initiatives are critical for the future.
“I believe that helping people, not only in Harrison but everywhere, is going to be up to the churches and the volunteers, not the government,” he said. “So, we want to encourage volunteerism wherever we can.”