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TRIBUTE TO A BETTER-THAN-GOOD NEIGHBOR

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To the editor:
There are neighbors, and there are neighbors. Some simply live near you. Others are personally involved in bettering the neighborhood and giving a helping hand when needed to others who live there.
And then there is Sarah Jaffurs, my next-door neighbor. Wherever you go with her on St. Croix, there are people who greet her by name; she is well known everywhere. If you drive with her, you notice that she is invariably a thoughtful driver, always stopping (when it is safe to do so) to let other vehicles make turns through her lane of traffic.
At home, Sarah has always been helpful to and supportive of her neighbors. Last year, she took my son, who has Down's Syndrome, to town so he could buy me a Christmas present. She takes care of my four dogs and five cats when I am off island. She lends her home for our Neighborhood Watch meetings, arranges for the road to be graded when necessary and performs countless helpful kindnesses to all of us in the area.
Recently, however, she outdid herself. I would like to nominate her for Neighbor of the 20th Century. Here's why:
My son was due to fly down to St. Croix from California on Nov. 22. His plane was due to land here at 10:45 p.m. on a night when the Hurricane Lenny curfew was still in effect. Sarah insisted on driving me to the airport that night, because I had experienced a dizzy spell and she didn't think I should drive.
The following day, she drove me and my son to my doctor's office in Sunny Isle, where, after an EKG, my doctor decided I needed a pacemaker immediately. Sarah then drove me to the hospital, went to the bank to supply me with cash, and told me not to worry about my son, that he would stay with her family, adding him to her household of husband and four sons. She took him with her family to their yearly Thanksgiving celebration, arranged a birthday party for him at a restaurant on Nov. 27, baked him a birthday cake and gave him presents. I was in the hospital for ten days, first here and then in Puerto Rico, during which time, in addition to caring for my son, Sarah made sure my animals were fed, watered and petted and called in an exterminator and a plumber. She and another neighbor did tons of laundry (my washing machine wasn't working). She kept us supplied with ice, then loaned me a mini- fridge because the hurricane had put my refrigerator out of commission, and she shopped to stock it with food. She took my son to the Juan F. Luis Hospital to visit me numerous times, and took him to the airport to meet me when I flew back from Puerto Rico.
These are only a few highlights of her tireless activities on behalf of me and my son. I am still overwhelmed when I consider her compassionate kindness to me and mine. Sarah Jaffurs is more than a good neighbor; she is the epitome of the Scriptural good neighbor who loves others and treats them as she would herself. What a remarkable example she gives to her sons; what a remarkable contribution she makes to our neighborhood; what a remarkable lady she is.
Lisa Giorgi
St. Croix

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