We know our neighbors love there they live – BAPA’s given out hundreds of T-shirts that say so! Even a great community like ours can be even better, but it takes a bit off effort and a bunch of creativity to make it happen.
There are four keys to having a great community: Knowing your neighbors, staying in communication, lending a hand when help is needed, and sharing experiences that will transform acquaintances into friends.
#1 It All Starts With ‘Hello’
When new people move on to your block, stop by and knock on the door to introduce yourself and ask their names. Also ask whether they’re new to Beverly/Morgan Park, and if they are, let us know at BAPA so we can drop off a New Neighbors bag and welcome them to the neighborhood.
Walking from your back door to your garage doesn’t give you a chance to see neighbors. Walk out front and down the block so you can chat with neighbors and keep up with block news.
#2 Keeping It Going With ‘How Are You?’
It doesn’t matter where you are – sitting on your front porch, walking the dog, in the check-out line at County Fair – it’s always the right time and place to say, “Hello. How are you?”
Start a text tree for everyone on the block, that includes first and last names, street number, and cell phone. Text to share news as well as potential safety alerts. This is a great way to share information about a neighbor who may be ill, a family that just welcomed a new baby, or news about a city project that may be slated for the block.
Be generous with compliments about what neighbors are doing in their yards or with their property, and tactfully honest if there’s something they may need to address, such as branches hanging over someone else’s property that should to be trimmed. Add an offer to help or to share resources when it’s appropriate.
One of the best things about our neighborly community is watching the kids grow up. Asking about neighbor’s kids who are away at college or grown up and in their own homes is a great conversation starter – and a great chance for you to do a little bragging or show off pictures of your newest grandchildren.
#3 Take it Further With ‘How Can I Help?’
Often, it’s the small tasks that require the most attention and assistance. If you have the time and means, consider taking your snow blower all the way down the block to help out the people who may be struggling to stay ahead of shoveling, or when you’re out mowing the lawn, cut the grass for an older neighbor.
Keep an eye on neighbors’ homes when they’re away on vacation.
Make a call to congratulate a neighbor on their new baby or to let someone who’s recovering from an illness know that you’re going out to run errands and ask if there’s anything they need.
Maintaining and updating our homes means we’re always on the lookout for good ideas and good people to get various tasks done. When you’re happy with a job well done, share your resources.
#4 Make it Great With ‘Let’s Get Together’
Make opportunities to get together with your neighbors. Reach out to a few neighbors who can help plan a block party or coordinate a block yard sale.
Make a plan for safe and pleasant holiday events with the neighbors on your block, such as Halloween trick or treating, Easter egg hunts, or Christmas caroling.
Do you have other ideas for making our neighborhood even more neighborly? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.