BADGES FOR CHARITY
The Neighbors Loving Neighbors organization actually began long before the devastating floods that swept through much of West Virginia on June 23, 2016. When The Greenbrier Classic made the decision to make Grounds Badges to the 2016 PGA TOUR FedEx Cup tournament complimentary, the idea was put in motion to have patrons bring a can of food with them to the tournament to donate to those in need throughout West Virginia. With record numbers expected to attend the tournament, the amount of food organizers believed, would make a major impact throughout the state.
After hearing Greenbrier Owner and CEO Jim Justice speak about the project during Media Day for The Greenbrier Classic in May of 2016, Tony Mamone of The Pinnacle Group was moved by Justice's words and stepped forward to donate 10,000 cans of food. Justice matched that donation, and together they started the project with 13 tons of food.
The idea was to build a mountain of canned food in The Greenbrier's Upper Lobby. At the end of the tournament, food banks from across the state would be eligible to pick up the food and distribute it to those in need.
After the flood water claimed lives, homes, and possessions across West Virginia, including Greenbrier County, the home of The Greenbrier Classic, Neighbors Loving Neighbors quickly took on a new dimension. The project began to focus on those in West Virginia without clothing, food, or shelter as a result of the incredible natural disaster. Mo and Charles Barkley, Phil Mickelson, Larry Fitzgerald, Jimbo Fisher, Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Lee Trevino, Jerry West, Brad Paisley, and many other called to offer assistance, and sponsors, members of The Greenbrier Sporting Club, and friends of The Greenbrier reached out in amazing numbers.
In the days immediately following the flood, Neighbors Loving Neighbors gathered clothing, food and cleaning supplies, and served as a collection center and point of distribution where flood victims could come to The Greenbrier Sports Performance Center and get the supplies necessary to help deal with their immediate losses.
As the recovery continued, and The Greenbrier Classic was forced to cancel for 2016, Neighbors Loving Neighbors transformed once again, helping to pool its resources to repaid and rebuild homes that had been damaged during the floods.
Neighbors Loving Neighbors teamed with many other agencies, including West Virginia Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, The West Virginia National Guard, Mennonite Disaster Services, Mercury One, The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security, Appalachian Service Project, and many others to help flood victims get back into homes as they attempted to repair their lives.
Seven months after the floods, Neighbors Loving Neighbors has already helped repair or rebuild more than 350 homes throughout West Virginia. The organization has rebuilt a gymnasium in Richwood that is now being used by the youth and high school basketball teams, as well as functioning as a community center. Ground has been broken on Faith Villas, a new housing community in Richwood to help house victims of the flooding.
"We're extremely proud of the work that has been done, but there's still so much more to do," said Habibi Mamone, President of Neighbors Loving Neighbors. "There are still many that need help, and we're working hard to give assistance to as many people as possible. Nobody should feel as though there's nobody there to help."
Neighbors Loving Neighbors will serve as their charity arm of The Greenbrier Classic in 2017 and beyond.
For anyone interested in helping with this initiative:
ONLINE Monetary Donations
MAIL Montetary Donation
- "Neighbors Loving Neighbors"
- The Greenbrier
- Attn: Habibi Mamone
- 300 West Main Street
- White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986
- Checks should be made out to: "Neighbors Loving Neighbors"
Neighbors Loving Neighbors is a designated 501(c)(3) organization
"It's been amazing how many people have already stepped up and asked what they could do to help." Said Habibi Mamone, Executive Tournament Director, The Greenbrier Classic. "Neighbors Loving Neighbors gives them that opportunity, and provides hope to those who need it so much right now."
All money collected will be used to help those who have lost homes and property. The food will be delivered to food banks across West Virginia.