When adopting the premise laid out by the good book, “love thy neighbor as thyself”, you’ll lay a good foundation for communities that people will want to live in and want to help to thrive.
The benefits of being a good neighbor..and by extension creating a great neighborhood for everyone…goes far beyond simply liking where you live.
It has the potential to change peoples’ lives.
Good Neighbor Day
Created by Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana in the early 70s and proclaimed by Jimmy Carter in 1978 to be a day when individuals should “observe such a day with appropriate ceremonies and activities,” this September 28th has been declared “Good Neighbor Day”.
Who are we to disagree with a Presidential Proclamation?
Here are some ideas on how to celebrate this most worthy of days:
1. Get to know your neighbors…and offer help when needed
Everyone is so busy that we often fail to take the time to really know our neighbors. While “Good Neighbor Day” is a great concept, that doesn’t mean you can only connect with your neighbors on “the” day.
Take all month or even better, make it routine to stop for a minute or two and ask how your neighbors are doing and find out if there are ways you can help them out.
For example, if your neighbors are elderly and their trees need trimmed you can offer to do it for them. Take a few minutes and look around, there are possibly many things you can do to be a good neighbor.
2. Organize a “block party”
Get together with a few of your neighbors and discuss what might be the best time and location for everyone to get together.
Whether there’s a small local park where everyone can meet, or you take turns hosting the party in your own yards, make it a potluck party where everyone can bring a dish to share and to get to know their neighbors better.
Another option would be to hold a simple coffee and cookies (and cookies and fruit juice for the kids) event on the sidewalk where everyone can stop by for a few minutes…or longer.
Set out balloons and signs, or simply send out invites to your neighbors inviting them to stop by and chat.
The point is, it doesn’t have to be some big elaborate affair…think about the makeup of your neighborhood (retirees, young families, etc.) for ideas on what might be the best way to get together.
3. Commit random acts of kindness
Yes, everyone is busy, but there’s no feeling in the world like helping someone else…especially when it’s unexpected.
Here are a few ways to commit random acts of kindness this Good Neighbor Day:
- ♥ Bake some cookies and take them to your neighbors
- ♥ Clear the snow off your neighbor’s car or walkway
- ♥ Take some frozen dinners to your neighbors who just brought home a newborn or who have an ill family member
- ♥ Offer to babysit your neighbor’s kids
- ♥ Host a party for the neighborhood kids, giving their parents some time off
- ♥ Hand out gift certificates or gift cards with a note of appreciation for how great of a neighbor they are
- ♥ Give out doggie – or kittie – treats (either homemade or store bought) to your neighbors with pets
As you can see there are many ways to be a good neighbor.
By taking action yourself and doing something nice for your neighbors you could end up sparking a trend in your neighborhood where everyone is helping everyone else out.
Making your neighborhood not only the best one in town, but the one that everyone wants to move to!