Neighbors in the Villages of Gahanna neighborhood know they can count on Maybank Court resident Theresa Thrash.

From delivering surprise breakfasts and baked treats to distributing homemade face masks, Brenda Hoffman said, Thrash is a messenger of positivity.

That's why Hoffman proposed that Thrash be recognized in Gahanna's new Nominate a Neighbor program.

Gahanna Mayor Laurie Jadwin said the city started Nominate a Neighbor to recognize compassionate and generous people who are focused on others' needs, and have made time to help respond to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

"As I stated in my state-of-the-city address, this is what Gahanna does best, especially in challenging times; we find ways to support one another," she said. "Wonderful acts of kindness are happening in our neighborhoods all over the city, and we wanted to highlight that positivity."

City communications manager Carrin Wester said she expects the city to promote a weekly Nominate a Neighbor honoree. She said recognition at council meetings might occur in the future, but the city is going to focus on weekly social-media posts highlighting a "nomination of the week" in the meantime.

Hoffman, who nominated Thrash on April 24, said she lives in the same cul-de-sac as Thrash, about seven houses away.

"Theresa is the founding member of our neighborhood food share we call POP or Pie on Porch," Hoffman said. "She walks everywhere and does 20,000 to 30,000 steps a day. She canvasses neighbors from the sidewalk or texts us to inquire if we need anything from Meijer, Giant Eagle or Kroger every time she goes. She informs all of us of what she sees and where on her weekly shopping trips. Sometimes if you give her an order, she pulls that last-minute save from her own pantry like sauerkraut for a Reuben sandwich."

Even before the pandemic, Hoffman said, Thrash was pretty awesome.

"She's wonderful," Hoffman said. "She has delivered iced bacon cinnamon rolls. She has always been this way. If she finds out there's a kid graduating, she sends a card, even if she doesn't know them."

Hoffman said Thrash recently purchased about $200 in homemade face masks to distribute to others, and in the case of a local immune-compromised neighbor she provided a surgical-type mask.

Hoffman, Thrash and Thrash's partner, Ben Rolls, have been cooking and supplying others with surprises.

"She (recently) ran hot, homemade blueberry buttermilk waffles to four neighbors," Hoffman said.

"It's almost a daily thing with her. She'll tell you, 'Ben made a raspberry pie,' and she'll bring you a piece of pie."

Hoffman said Thrash also grows tomatoes and shares them.

Any Gahanna resident who has noticed a neighbor, community friend or service worker who has gone out of his or her way to make a difference during the pandemic may send a nomination to mayors.office@gahanna.gov.

Stories will be shared on the Nominate a Neighbor page at gahanna.gov/nominate-a-neighbor-2/ and through social-media accounts.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla