A neighborhood evokes a great sense of pride for all those who contribute to it. As an individual, you already know you can Create the Good in countless ways, but when you work together as a group, there’s no limit to the impact you can make on your community. Here are a few ways to cultivate and reinforce that great sense of neighborhood pride, while also making your community a better, safer place to live.
Find strength in numbers.
The Neighbor Brigade is one example of an organization that helps to mobilize local residents to assist individuals and families facing sudden crisis with meal preparation, housework, rides and more. There are dozens of chapters in New England, and you can find out how to start your own. On a smaller scale, you can build a social network to connect your neighbors, or start a phone tree for emergencies related to everyone on your street. To strengthen your network, you can organize a block party to get everyone together and make the initial connections, while also identifying specific neighbors who might benefit from your help immediately.
Form a coalition of the willing.
If you’ve held or attended a few local block parties, or even just lived in your neighborhood for a few years, you probably have a good understanding of which neighbors might be interested in a volunteer project. Consider hosting a small gathering to brainstorm ideas based on everyone’s diverse backgrounds and interests. Coming up with a plan is half the fun. Is there a graffiti or trash problem near your home? You could organize a graffiti task force or plan a general neighborhood cleanup. On a larger scale, you might join forces with The Ocean Conservancy if you live near the coast, and put together a coastal cleanup event. Get together to make a difference in the lives of foster youth with these ideas from Together We Rise. Or check out this extensive list of community service projects and find something your whole group can agree to.
Keep your eyes and ears open.
Safety and security are essential to a neighborhood’s prosperity, especially when many of the inhabitants are children or seniors. National Neighborhood Watch says, “Our nation is built on the strength of our citizens. Every day, we encounter situations calling upon us to be the eyes and ears of law enforcement.” Learn how your neighborhood can coordinate with local law enforcement and participate in this program. At a minimum, you can help ensure safer neighborhoods by making sure each resident has local police contact information available on, or near their phones.
Learn more ways to bring your neighborhood and community closer together through volunteerism. Find local opportunities here.