Resident’s Simple Act of Kindness Stands Out

“It’s about taking responsibility for where you live.” This is the perspective Alison Wilder uses while looking back on what she considers to be a simple act of community.    

Back in October a “decrepit willow tree” along the edge of the pond behind St. John’s Meadows was brought down by a rigid wind. The downed tree made part of the pathway adjacent to the pond impassable for many of the residents who enjoy walking their property each day. That is when Alison went to work, grabbing a rake, a broom, and a pair of hedge trimmers to clear the pathway. 

Alison has lived with her husband Don in one of the private cottages at St. John’s Meadows for over five years. Her sense of community is nothing new to Don, who says “she often walks around and picks trash up when she sees it.”  


Alison modestly explains that her cleanup efforts that day only took about 20 minutes, but it was the motivation behind her actions that stand out several weeks later. “I thought that people with walkers wouldn’t be able to use the walkway,” she said. 

This spirit of helping others resonates with Jean Loomis, manager of volunteer services at St. John’s Meadows. Like many other residents, Alison is an active volunteer, serving as secretary of the St. John’s Meadows and Brickstone Resident Council, and also as coordinator of the north library in Chestnut Court. Jean recognizes how the hours of hard work spent in official volunteer roles combined with spontaneous actions like Alison’s pathway cleanup contribute to a culture of neighbors helping neighbors. As Jean puts it, “our residents are the best, and this only supports this claim.” 

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