It has been most rewarding to hear what volunteers, sponsors, or homeless persons have to say about our event.

Click HERE to share your experience with us.

I had a great time volunteering. I was personal shopper and then did the kids games.
It was a very unique and humbling experience. I remember the names and faces of all the individuals I had the pleasure of assisting in the store. I heard so many great stories and everyone of them were so thankful and truly appreciative of the items they received. I had one man so excited to get a sewing kit so he could repair jeans that he wanted to be able to use again. They didn’t have any pants that were an exact fit for him so he took a pair that were to long so he could cut the bottoms off and planned to use the sewing kit to repair holes. It was all I could do not to cry because he was so excited to receive a sewing kit, the kind that the hotels put out every day and so many don’t give a second thought to.
I met a woman and her 3 daughters who were very excited to play the games. I made the mistake of saying the ring toss was a game just like at the fair, without the thought crossing my mind that they had never been to a fair. Something that seemed so everyday normal and these kids and their 30 year old mother had never been. The little girl just kept saying she wanted to see a fair, because she was having so much fun doing the games. She was really good at them to. Her mom said they had never been to Chuck E Cheese or anything like that because of money and that her daughter’s birthday is in a couple of months and she just keeps asking her if they can go. I took her number it is my intentions to give her a gift certificate so she can take her kids. I can’t help but think how many times I have been to fairs and events and Chuck e Cheese on numerous occasions with my son, family, friends and now grandson . Something I have taken for granted so many times and these kids would consider a dream come true.
I can’t even begin to tell you what a great experience it was. Thank you for all the work you did to make it successful for all the Chase employees.

-Jeanne White, Volunteer 2013

I love volunteering for “Good Neighbors Picnic” it is such an inspirational event to be able to feed the less fortunate and welcome them to a beneficial free event. My heart goes out to the families and I wish I was a billionaire so that I could have given each one of them $1 million apiece. However the “Good Neighbors Picnic” committee is a God send and a blessing to our community. I always have a wonderful time working the registration table and conversing with Margaret Rankin, she is a wonderful person. It’s always a pleasure networking and meeting new people.

-Melissa Romine, Volunteer 2013

I took my ten years old daughter and she was helping a lot (see attached pic!).
Later that evening we attended my friend’s party and she had some other quests over and my daughter all of them that her dream is to help MORE those who are less fortune!
I strongly encourage other people to bring their children to events like that!
She also said she will do even better at school, and then will go to college so she will have a good paid job.

-Elena Lubenets, Volunteer 2013

I worked as the Entertainment help and later, end up working as personal shopper at the clothes Shelter. It was very rewarding working there as a volunteer. So many things to learn! I enjoyed working with all the volunteers at the Clothes store. As if they are really sales person of that shop and promoting the sale, style and materials. Watching those volunteers, I have seen the example and learned that whatever you do, do the best of you! Regardless of who you are and you are working for whom!

-Sultana Nahar

I worked in the store and it was a great pleasure talking with our neighbor’s. Their stories were so touching and at one point I had to walk away because it was so emotional. This event needs to be done at least twice a year and maybe we can do a fund raiser to make it happen.

-Tim Ingram, Volunteer 2013

I also had an opportunity to be a shopper. It was very rewarding and I look forward to volunteering again. My granddaughter, Shayla Ford and my Niece, Chantel Strickland joined me for their first volunteer effort. I wanted them to experience the joy of helping others.

-Jewel Manley, Volunteer 2013

Overall it was a wonderful experience and it was so great to meet so many people from Chase.

-Kayla Hinkle, Volunteer 2013

Many of the comments were basically the same – “thank you for taking the time out of your day to do this” OR “Bless you for giving up your time to do this for us”
There was one gentleman that really stood out though. It was towards the end when we only had hot dogs left. I advised him of that and his response was as follows:
I am just thankful for the food that you are providing. It is we who are blessed by your generosity and I thank you for the time you have taken out of your day to do this for us. You do not have to do this, any of you, yet here you are and it means so much to us.
He just about made me cry.

-Michelle Minjarez, Volunteer 2013

This was one of the best organized volunteer events I have been to. They seem really focused on serving the homeless community and make it easy for them to access them. I worked in the food service tent and Ahmed (the lead at the food tent) was great. He was organized and easy to work with. He had the tent set up and ready to go right on time.

-Russell Tier, Volunteer 2013

As part of JP Morgan’s Good Works, 35 JP Morgan associates and their children participated in the 15th Annual Good Neighbors Picnic on September 28, 2013. Good Neighbors (Neighbors Engaged in Giving the Homeless Better Opportunities, Respect, and Strength) works to build bridges of understanding in our community by reaching out to the homeless each fall to help them prepare for winter. The 15th Annual Good Neighbors picnic offered a day of fun, food, and entertainment for over 1,500 guests, volunteers and local supporters in historic Goodale Park in Downtown Columbus.
Volunteers assisted in preparing and serving over 1,150 guests meals consisting of BBQ, side items and food donated by Donato’s, White Castle and Dairy Queen. The gratitude from customers and the great attitudes of the volunteers kept the momentum going throughout the day. At one point, food grew scarce and workers were frantically making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Our volunteer, Michelle Minjarez apologetically offered whatever was left, and a customer expressed, “I am just thankful for the food that you are providing. It is we who are blessed by your generosity and I thank you for the time you have taken out of your day to do this for us. You do not have to do this, any of you, yet here you are and it means so much to us.”
Volunteers took on roles such as being a personal shopper and finding that perfect donated clothing item as if they were in a high-end store. One volunteer, Jeanne White, made a customer’s day by providing something as small as a sewing kit so the customer could hem a pair of pants he loved but were too long. Jeanne said, “It was all I could do not to cry because he was so excited to receive a sewing kit, the kind that the hotels put out every day and so many don’t give a second thought to.”
Tents were set-up for children to meet Santa, get their face painted, play games and make small crafts. Volunteers assisted children in playing games like ring toss; and found it hard to explain how to play when customer’s divulged that they have never been to a fair or Chuck E. Cheese.
An unexpected impact was how the event touched our young volunteers. One young volunteer wanted to skip her soccer game and continue volunteering because, “This [feeding hungry people] is so much more important [than her soccer game].” Another volunteer overheard her daughter telling friends that her dream is to help more people, do even better at school and get a good job to fulfill that mission.
At 4 p.m., a DJ was keeping the remaining guests entertained by hosting dance contests and performing line dances while the volunteers were closing shop. Our volunteer, Sultana Nahar sentiments captured the day: “Watching those volunteers, I have seen the example and learned that whatever you do, do the best of you! Regardless of whom you are and whomever you are working for!”

-Stacey Greenberg, Volunteer 2013

My daughter and I were homeless about 11 to 12 years ago and went through a rough period of time. I remember one summer day it was very, very hot and my daughter was thirsty. We had a pop top that said “free soda”. I sent my daughter into a gas station/store (I will not say any names) with her pop top and she was happy to be getting something to drink. She came outside upset because they would not give her the soda. She did not have the” tax” to pay them. Back then it may have only been a few cents but I didn’t have it at that time to give to her. As a parent I felt terrible. Anyway I guess why I told that story is because when I heard about the “free homeless picnic” I was excited because I knew that my daughter would be able to do something and I would not have to worry about her being disappointed (it didn’t matter if we were homeless and had no money). We went to the picnic and it was wonderful. With that being said the “Good Neighbors Picnic” is definitely one of the fondest memories that will always stand out to us.
To this day we still attend the “Good Neighbors Picnic” along with my grandchildren (twelve years later). I want my grandchildren to grow up and understand that everyone is equal no matter their situation. The “Good Neighbors Picnic” is a wonderful thing for the homeless. Those that are homeless don’t have a chance to enjoy a summer get together in their back yards with friends and family, that so many people take for granted. At the picnic children have a chance to get their faces painted, visit with Santa Clause, do arts and crafts, choose free books, listen to music/dance and have a family picture taken that will capture a moment in time for them to look back on and cherish. Those are the things that children will remember for the rest of their lives and fortunately the “Good Neighbors Picnic” along with all of the volunteers makes that possible for them every year.
As I spend the day with my family at the “Good Neighbors Picnic”, I also feel privileged to spend it with those that are so desperately in need of help and my heart goes out to each and every one of them. Watching everyone enjoying themselves so much at the picnic that day each year puts a smile on my face. I will continue to attend for as long as the “Good Neighbors Picnic” is there to provide such a wonderful day to those that need a “few hours” out of one day of their lives to forget all of their problems and obstacles. To have a day to just sit back, relax, have no worries and spend time with one another.
I currently work for the Homeless Shelter that my daughter and I lived in so many years ago. I am so grateful that there was such a program to help me when I needed it the most. Now each year I express to our clients just how wonderful the “Good Neighbors Picnic” is. I make sure I give every family the information about the picnic and I look forward to seeing them there.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who is involved in making that day SO special for those that doesn’t feel very special.

-Stephanie, Volunteer

I can’t even begin to explain how deeply the picnic affected me and my daughter, what an amazing thing you are doing and have been doing for them. To be a part of it makes me feel privileged. We were getting so many thank you’s from the visitors and all the while I was thinking “thank you” for reminding me what’s really important in life and how truly blessed we are. To help that many people in one day is incredible, if only there were more people and organizations like this one that would do what you’ve done to help those close to home in need of so little to us, but so much to them, priceless. I think Lydia and Ahmed were incredible at this event, they had it rocking and rolling…continuous positive reinforcement and showing appreciation to everyone. They kept it flowing and in great spirits!! They were on it from the beginning to the end (of when we left).

-Melody White, Volunteer 2013

I am so inspired by the Good Neighbor event you hold every year that its aw inspiring to see the volunteers and people you help, it brings tears to my eyes. You have a deep and faithful soul that I hope people take into account what a true blessing you are to their lives.

-Thea, Volunteer 2012

Was another great day giving back to central Ohio families in need.... my wife and I were honored to be a part of this annual event....

-James Ferensen, Volunteer 2012

It was a totally awesome experience. I feel very blessed to have been able to participate in this endeavor....Thanks to all!!!

-Debbie Powell, Volunteer 2012

I'm glad the GNP was such a success. Between all the guests who are helped, and then all the good stuff that comes to all the volunteers who receive back tenfold by being a part of the event--the "little program" you put together has ended up helping more people than can be counted (and I'm one of them!)

- Lisa Stromeier, Volunteer 2012

This was a 'precious' year for me as well as my first year not being in the clothes building at least 90% of my participating time. I was very blessed with having one on one time with our guest in a different manner.

Though unplanned,it was what I truly needed this year...with all that has been and is going on. It truly an honor to take part in sharing the blessings of others, that ultimately end up blessing the participants with deeply enriched lives. Helping with personal needs, clothing, food, etc are major necessities. Yet, I can think of nothing that replaces the true joy from within, brought on from the outbursts of laughter and sincere expressions of smiling faces from both our guests and volunteers. Each of who are faced day to day, hour to hour with struggles and worries....just letting go . Whether our guests are in their position due bad choices or circumstances, we are all individuals of emotion and aspirations-whether we admit to it or not, a common thread.

- Roni De'Wees, Volunteer 2012

“Extraordinary people make an extraordinary event happen! Thank You!”