Depending upon where you live, it might have been a while since you were able to interact with your neighbors in the same way you used to before the pandemic. But things are a little safer now, particularly outdoors. As long as you keep current public health recommendations in mind, why not rekindle the friendly bonds with those around you and reach out to new neighbors in your community? We could all use some extra connection these days!
September 28 is Good Neighbor Day, so it’s the perfect time to plan some special activities to celebrate and support the community where you live.
Celebrate and build your community
Respecting everyone’s comfort level right now is important. Not everyone is ready for indoor gatherings or even face-to-face chats outside without masks. But that doesn’t mean you can’t safely reach out in a way that’s comfortable for everyone.
- Bake something special or share your harvest. Surprise your neighbors with a little baked treat. Be mindful of potential allergies and include an ingredient list so they know it’s safe. If you’ve been growing fruits or vegetables in your yard or balcony, you could also share your extra fresh produce with those around you.
- Dial the phone. Check in with your neighbors, particularly seniors and those that live alone. Being someone who cares and is there when needed is a wonderful way to help build a supportive and caring community.
- Introduce yourself. A lot may have changed in your neighborhood over the past year and a half. If new families have moved in, take some time to safely introduce yourself and welcome them to the community.
- Plan a gathering. Not ready for a party just yet? That’s perfectly fine — but it doesn’t mean you can’t talk to your neighbors about a get-together in a few months, or even next spring, when everyone is more comfortable with it. Chat about your plans for a potluck, a BBQ or even a street party and get excited about having something to look forward to together.
- Help a neighbor paint their home or spruce up their yard. There are so many outside jobs to be done before the winter, and some people don’t have the time or physical ability to get it all done before the snow flies. Even an hour of your time would mean a lot to someone struggling to get their chores done.
Support your community
If you’re able, reach out to the broader community by supporting local charitable organizations and looking for ways to make your community safer, happier and stronger.
- Engage in some guerilla gardening. Beautify neglected spaces in your community by prepping gardens or planters for spring beauty. Check with your city or town first, then rake, weed, tidy and plant bulbs that will bloom in the spring.
- Adopt a grandparent. Check with a local senior home to find out if there is a resident who has few, if any, visitors. Adopt him or her. Send cards and small gifts, and call and visit, when it’s safe.
- Make cards to donate to a hospital or nursing home. Seniors and those in hospital love cheerful surprises, so gather your crafty friends and create handmade cards to donate to local facilities near you. How Stuff Works has some great card-making tips and inspiration.
- Volunteer with Foresters. Every year Foresters Financial™ supports our members with grants to help them organize inspiring Community Volunteer activities. Foresters members can apply for a Community Volunteer grant of up to $2,000 that provides funding to help make a positive impact in their local communities. If members see an immediate need, they can also apply for a Foresters Care™ grant, which is a one-time grant of $200 that can be used for local support initiatives, including hosting a food drive, putting together care kits for a local shelter or cleaning up a park – the possibilities are endless!
Foresters members can visit MyForesters.com for more information and to apply for grants, or to find out about other Foresters volunteer opportunities right in their own neighborhoods.
420120 CAN/US (09/21)