Wayland's Pam Washek was "touched by how the community embraced" her family in 2002 when she received a cancer diagnosis.
The helping hand offered by neighbors and friends planted the seed for an idea, Washek told People magazine for its Sept. 3 issue, now available online. Washek and Neighbor Brigade were featured in the magazine's "Heroes Among Us" section.
In the feature, Washek said that she has found volunteers "want to get involved" when a neighbor in crisis needs help with chores, transportation, meals or something else.
Neighbor Brigade, according to the People article, now includes 3,300 members throughout the state of Massachusetts. At least a few of those members even stepped up to help Washek recently as she underwent a "brief course of treatment" for a cancer recurrence.