Miriam VanNeijenhuis is one of our newer Block Carriers. She moved to McCauley a year and a half ago.
“I was looking to move and wanted to experience the neighbourhood for myself,” she says. “Many friends thought I was crazy to move to an inner city neighbourhood where my personal safety was assumed to be in jeopardy. However, with my church First Christian Reformed being in the same neighbourhood, I was willing to give McCauley a chance at being called home. Happily, I can say that this is the most friendly, neighbourly neighbourhood that I have ever lived in. I know more of my neighbours here than any other place I have lived – I have moved a lot.”
Miriam decided to volunteer with the paper when she began helping her friend, Heather Van Boom, with a route. “I also enjoy reading the BMC News myself and keeping up with the current events of the community.”
She describes her experience getting to know the neighbourhood in very positive terms. “I love knowing so many of my neighbours in this community. I also like having the opportunity to have a variety of stores/shops close by that I can support. It is nice to have a place to go for coffee with a friend that is close to home, or to be able to run and get a few forgotten groceries,” she says.
“I also like how neighbours look out for each other. Last week when my dog ran out of the yard a neighbour called to say she had just seen him looking quite lost. Within a few minutes he was back home safe and sound.”
In addition to the paper, Miriam volunteers at The Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse on 118 Avenue and 94 Street as a coffee barista twice a week. She also helped out this past spring and summer with the McCauley outdoor soccer program.
Miriam lives with her dog Cooper, a white Standard Poodle, who turned five this summer. Miriam is also a registered nurse who volunteers at Ronald McDonald House. “I am able to connect with families that spend a lot of time experiencing sick kids in the hospital,” she explains.
“I also love music. I studied music in university and play the piano, organ, flute, and clarinet, and enjoy singing. This fall I joined a community band, Edmonton Concert Pops, and enjoy playing my flute there.”
Thanks Miriam, for helping to deliver the news to your neighbours!