It used to be that neighborhoods were tight-knit communities that shared a lot of things. From lending a jar of sugar to carpooling to nearby work, neighbors used to care a lot for each other. That’s not to say that the neighborhoods of today are selfish and apathetic. But you can’t deny that somewhere along the way, communities weren’t as social and cooperative as they were before.
Perhaps it’s the changing of the times and the nature of our fast-paced 21st-century living, or maybe we’ve grown jaded or cynical. Regardless, there’s no harm in being kind to your neighbor and trying to instill a community spirit. Below are some simple ways you can better connect with your neighbors or the entire community.
Support Local Stores
Your friendly local stores are there for a reason: so that the locals don’t have to go elsewhere. Of course, you have the choice of going elsewhere. Still, when given the option to support local small businesses versus multi-billion-dollar companies, the answer should always be the former.
Local businesses help bolster the economy, and its proximity to your residence makes it convenient. Going to local stores also has a sense of homeliness and coziness you can’t get elsewhere, so make sure you drop by a mom-and-pop restaurant this weekend.
Look Out for Each Other
The good, old-looking out for each other never goes out of style. It could be as simple as lending your power tools to your neighbor or helping them get to the nearest car mechanic to get their car fixed. Saying hi to your neighbors or asking them how their day is going are relatively simple things that both bring you closer and also fosters a sense of community. Helping whenever you can is a human habit, so make sure to reach out and help others. They’ll help you in your time of need as well.
Teach What You Know
Community learning centers often lack instructors and teachers, so consider volunteering if you have a skill that you can share. Volunteering to teach at community centers is a great way to show your love and concern for your community. You’re helping those young adults prepare for their life. You are also assisting adults in looking for better employment opportunities, as well as connecting with people in your community you might not know.
Organize a Community Garden
For this tip, you have to check with your local government, as each location would have different rules and regulations. But once you find out if a community garden is possible in your area, it’s the next project you should take. Essentially, community gardens are a public and collaborative effort where the community takes care of fruit-bearing plants.
Having a community garden is a great way to provide healthy fruits and vegetables, even for those without the resources to afford them. It also provides a physical outlet for those who live a sedentary lifestyle.
Initiate a Tools Library
Here’s something that’s a throwback to older times: a tools library. Similar to a library of books, a tool library is a place where you can borrow equipment, tools, instructional materials, and other things that might be of use. Typically, tool libraries aren’t government-supported, but starting one is as simple as volunteering on your own.
If you have equipment that’s often borrowed, why not start a tool library for it? It will allow you to track who’s borrowing, when they borrowed it, and when you can expect it back. Once you’ve started it, your neighbors are more likely to contribute their own, thus beginning a community-supported effort.
Welcome the New Neighbors
The simplest gesture is often the one that leaves the most impression. So greet your new neighbors and make sure that they feel appreciated and welcomed in their new place. They will be spending quite a while with you, so it’s best to start on a good foot.
You can have a small neighborhood celebration, or if that’s not possible, give them a small gift — like a cake or your unique cuisine. Many countries have this tradition of providing food as gifts to pregnant mothers, newlyweds, and birthday celebrants, and it’s great to keep that spirit alive.
There’s no denying that the world is a very different place compared to what it was before. There’s a lot of social changes that have happened and are happening. But this shouldn’t deter us from being good citizens and kind neighbors. After all, we’re the ones living with each other, so it’s best that we all get along.
Meta title:Creating Connections with the Community with These Ideas
meta desc: Neighborhoods aren’t just people living next to or near each other — they’re a community. Learn some strategies that can build a closer community.