COLUMBUS, Ga (WRBL) – A Columbus woman says she wanted to start lifting spirits during this time. She decided to hand out food to the elderly on her street.
Nancy Bell just moved here with her 94-year-old bed-ridden father, a World War 2, Korea, Vietnam veteran with Alzheimer’s. Bell says her father told her that he wanted to live his last moments near Fort Benning.
“The old Colonel always told me whenever you move into a community, you introduce yourself and you tell them what your plans are,” Bell said with a smile.
She introduced herself by knocking on each door on 20th street with pizza, a small side salad and a bouquet of flowers. “I wanted to let the people on my street know that there’s another veteran down the street, that they’re not alone,” she says still sweating from the work.
She moved down the street with a pallet with wheels, maneuvering over each crack and bump with ease. She brought along Emma Jones, a violinist from the Columbus Orchestra, for what she called “a sidewalk serenade”.
“So I called Miss Emma and asked her to do it and I said “it might be hot” and she said “I don’t care, I’d love to,” Bell explained.
One of the doors she knocked on belonged to an elderly couple who normally don’t come out of their homes, but for Bell they did.
“When Miss Emma started playing, her husband came outside, he didn’t speak and she wept. That what this was about. And she just kept saying “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Bell said.
One thing she doesn’t tell most people is that she has Basal skin cancer and it causes her to have to walk at night to be out of the sun.
“That’s when I noticed the sweet woman around the corner. She has an Azalea bush and as I go by every night I’d steal an Azalea and put it behind my ear. And the other night I hear “gotcha!”,” Bell said.
It was that moment that she wanted to spread love to the woman.
As Bell turned the corner, she ran up the steps and knocked on the green door praying she would open it. When she did, Bell ran back down the steps and grabbed the goodies yelling the same introduction she gave every other home.
“I’m the woman you caught the other day stealing your Azaleas!” she added. “Oh, I know who you are!” the woman said joyfully.
As Bell sat the pizza, salad, and bouquet down, Jones began playing her violin. The woman sat in her chair and put her hands together and listened as joy spread across her face.
“That’s what this was all about. We may be the only people that came to visit her today,”
Bell credits her idea to her father. She first brought in Jones to play for him one day. She says seeing his face light up to the music was all she needed.
“He could go to that great battlefield in the sky tonight and he’d be a happy soldier,” Bell said.
She wants people to know that you can do anything to give back to the community.
“Anything. We all have talents of some sort. We all can do something for a neighbor, just reach out,” Bell said.
*Pizza and the side salad were donated by Your Pie. The bouquet of flowers was donated by David Benefield.