‘Nextdoor’ post changes the life of a mother and daughter

| December 29, 2022 | 0 Comments

Veronica Chaberski of Hancock Park has been enjoying jazz at the Catalina Jazz Club with Eve, shopping with Rita and going to a museum with Joanne — and that’s in one week! It’s a full and varied schedule for the widowed 81-year-old who moved here from Florida a year ago. However, Chaberski’s life here was not always this full.

After her husband passed away in 2020 and the pandemic hit, Chaberski’s vibrant friend network in Florida went from 20 people to two. She decided it was time to move west to be within walking distance of her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter in Hancock Park.

ORIGINAL POST on Nextdoor for Veronica Chaberski.

After the move, she had trouble making friends in her new home. Her daughter, Monica Corcoran Harel, noticed her mother’s zest for life was dimming. Her mom was always the life of the party or the one throwing the spontaneous cocktail and dance get-together. Now, her mom wasn’t putting on her daily “make-up face,” she had no activities or outings scheduled, and she wasn’t her usual vivacious self. Harel realized that her mother was lonely and needed friends her own age. Harel wanted to help.

She knew that loneliness, especially in seniors, is harmful to physical and mental well-being.

Harel wanted to invite some of her friends to bring their moms over for a backyard get-together. This could be a chance for her mom to meet peers. But it just wasn’t working out. COVID-19 kept rearing its ugly head.

One day, Harel spontaneously decided to post a notice titled “My mom has no friends” on Nextdoor. She described her fun, outgoing, music-listening, artsy mother to everyone in the neighborhood. Harel didn’t even tell her mom she was doing this. The following day, her mom saw the post on Nextdoor. Her only comment to her daughter was, “Did you have to mention my age?”

The post attracted hundreds of responses of all different ages who wanted to meet, socialize with and get to know Chaberski. She started reaching out to responders singly, but it was too overwhelming to reply individually. Harel and her mom decided to start a new group on Nextdoor called “My mom has no friends.”

The new group, which has about 100 members so far, has met once in person and has planned a Dec. 29 get-together at the Original Farmers Market.

Between the initial post on Nextdoor and the first in-person meeting, Chaberski has gained four friends. She thinks she will make another three at the next couple of gatherings.

The post has been a life- changer for both mom and daughter.

With her new pals, Chaberski has become an active member of this community, joining the Ebell of Los Angeles and the Assistance League. She has encouraged her new-found friends to bead and knit with her. Regarding Larchmont and Los Angeles being her new home, she says, “It’s absolutely fabulous! I love all the creative people who are genuinely happy for you if you are happy.”

As for Harel, a journalist, she wrote about the post and her mom in a story for New York Magazine. After the article appeared there, the story was picked up as a television show with 20th Television that Harel will adapt for the screen.

Now each time she and her mom spend time together — which is often — she wonders if the particular new story her mom is relating would make for a good episode.

If you are looking to expand your community, check out the group on Nextdoor under “My mom has no friends.” Another meetup is planned for January.

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Category: People

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