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When crisis strikes, neighbors pitch in [Rodgers Forge]

Two weeks ago, my husband, Ben, faced a life-or-death medical emergency. Naturally, it was the day following an historic blizzard.

Never have I been more in love with my neighborhood than over the past two weeks. The focus of this story isn't about Ben or me. This is a story of the people in this community who helped without hesitation. Because if you're facing a crisis and there are three feet of snow blocking your whole world, you need your village.

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This column unequivocally explains why Rodgers Forge and its surrounding neighborhoods are such great places to live. Because these people, our neighbors, our village, make us the luckiest people in town.

Michele McCullouch, Stanmore Road, walked a mile in three feet of snow in the middle of the night to stay with and comfort our children. She took time off work, slept at our house for a week, assumed all the responsibilities of a parent, and delicately answered questions of four worried, little people.

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Emily and Matt Barczak, Rebecca and Josh Kysiak, and Molly and Bruce Herman, Dunkirk Road, shoveled everything. When I came home Monday evening to get my car, our block was completely cleared of snow on the street and sidewalks. That was such an amazing gift.

Chris Pilkington, Stanmore Road, and Andy Cooke, Regester Avenue, ferried children to their various activities and play dates. Every single day.

Susie and John Ballenger, Hopkins Road, Mary Ann and Seth Hodes, Brandon Road, Gerri and Steve Nichols, Stoneleigh, and Bess and Michael Calwell, Yorktowne Drive, took my children in when they needed a place to play or stay. And they took them all day long (and in some cases for a couple of nights). I cannot emphasize enough how big a deal this is. My children had a blast playing in the snow, building forts and living the carefree lives meant for children during school-free snow days.

Emily, Steve, Sam, Rosie and Lucy Brewster, Stanmore Road, and Mary Ann Hodes, again, for bringing dinner over without asking first because they all knew I would be hard-headed and politely decline. (And Lucy's get well card is the best.) Susie Ballenger, again, for pumpkin bread without asking because she knows I think I'm superwoman but I'm actually not. All meals were much needed, very appreciated and absolutely fantastic.

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Four complete strangers recently sacrificed an hour of their time to donate blood to the American Red Cross. Four strangers whose blood helped save Ben's life. Four strangers as well as two firefighters, four emergency medical technicians, several doctors, dozens of nurses, scores of medical technicians, and countless other staff at Greater Baltimore Medical Center and Johns Hopkins.

We are so incredibly lucky to live in a community where neighbors are so willing to pitch in and help one another. Not just during a crisis either. We are incredibly grateful and full of love for this neighborhood. Thank you, neighbors, for everything.

Happy 14th birthday, Will. We love you.

Good news? Email me.

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