FORT KNOX, Ky. — Several months after it formed, the Fort Knox Resident Advisory Board continues to find ways to reach out to residents and help them.Even after losing two board members to permanent change of station moves, the remaining members have shifted areas of responsibility to ensure residents have a voice in what happens here. John Bredehoeft, project director at Knox Hills, said their service lends credence to their two-year appointments.“One of the main requirements we look for is people who absolutely care about their community and want to make a difference,” said Bredehoeft.The board’s president, Gary Remington, said he has always looked for ways to help others, so the board was a natural fit for him. It was during a rent payment day in January that one of the housing managers suggested he apply for a board position.“I had them explain a little bit about what they’re looking for and I said, ‘You know, I’d love to,’” said Remington. “So I threw my hat in the ring and here we are.”Like Remington, Lisa Wells, the board’s secretary, has a history of helping others.“Since I’ve been at Fort Knox I’ve always had an interest in serving my community,” said Wells. “Once the email came through [asking for board members] and I saw it, I was like ‘Yeah, I’m interested!’”Remington said no sooner had the board gathered for its first meeting than the COVID-19 pandemic hit. They could no longer meet in person during the lockdowns.“The meetings became telephonic as a result,” said Wells.The virus also made it difficult to have face-to-face meetings with residents at their homes. Both Remington and Wells said they still would walk the streets of their neighborhoods to get feedback from residents when possible. One idea that came from the challenges was a survey they sent to residents.Remington said that survey, which took place in September, has been one of the most invaluable ideas to date.“I went around to five different housing areas, and I talked to 10 random residents in each housing area,” said Remington. “On our survey, we asked: ‘What would you be looking for in a house if you were coming to Knox?’ The reason I found it so invaluable was because you get to talking to the folks and they tell you, ‘You know, if I had a wish, I wish the house had this, or I wish it had that.’“When we went back the next month to our admin meeting, it gave me the opportunity to talk to the Knox Hills leadership about it.”Bredehoeft said the survey has been a benefit to Knox Hills.“It gave us a finger on the pulse of the community; what they’re interested in, what their concerns are, what they hope to see in the future,” said Bredehoeft. “I definitely consider that a positive.”The survey and monthly feedback from the board reflect the original intent of the board, said Bredehoeft.“The original intent was to provide that direct conduit to the leadership,” said Bredehoeft. “They have definitely been bringing ideas. This RAB in particular seems very community-focused and community-based. They want to see not just improvements in the homes here physically, but also in the social aspect.”One of the first social outreaches involved RAB members’ presence at the Oct. 8 Knox Hills National Night Out. At that event, board members assisted members of Army & Air Force Exchange Service in safely handing out sandwiches while taking the opportunity to introduce themselves to residents.“That was very enjoyable,” said Remington. “The folks pulled up in their cars, they had their kids with them, they had little treats for the kids, and it was just nice interacting with everybody.”Board members are looking for other creative ways to meet residents. At their October meeting, the first in-person get together since the COVID-19 outbreak surfaced, members discussed a new opportunity to get the word out about their mission.“We had discussions about what we could do going forward before the end of the year,” said Remington. “We’re looking at doing a pizza event for the residents a week before Thanksgiving. In a case like that, I’m doing a lot of legwork trying to get pizzas. We’re just trying to come up with ideas to make life better here at Fort Knox.”Bredehoeft said the board members have already made a big difference in relationships between residents, Fort Knox leaders and Knox Hills.“The feedback is a huge win. Our ultimate goal is to provide a community where military families live, work and thrive,” said Bredehoeft. “At the end of the day, it’s about resident feedback, and our ability to keep our finger on the pulse of any concerns and ideas. That helps us achieve our goal by continuing to improve our community and the services that we provide. We have to know what’s going on in order to address any concerns that are out there.“That’s what this RAB does, and they communicate those concerns and ideas very well.”___________________________________________________________EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information, to communicate with your RAB member, or to join the board, go to https://www.knoxhills.com/rab.