Neighborhoods are our most sacred places. They’re the places we choose to invest in our greatest asset. The place we choose to raise our children. The place we invest years to make a house into a home. Neighborhoods are the most important asset of any city. Our city.
One of the challenges we all face on a daily basis is to remember that our house, our family, our investment is just one home on a block in a neighborhood that could have hundreds of homes. Whether you live in the city or the suburbs, it's the same. Its hard to remember that each house around us represents another person or family doing the best they can to navigate life’s joys and circumstances. Our personal pursuits lead us to loose sight that our story is connected by proximity to those around us.
Some of us are thriving now. Some thrived decades ago. Some are struggling with cancer, lost jobs, age, disabilities, or any number of life’s circumstances that impact us. Do you know your neighbors? Do you know their stories? If you knew that a neighbor on your block couldn’t mow their grass due to age, would you help out? What about a neighbor that just had a new baby, would you make them dinner? Most of us would, but we simply don't know our neighbors or have the courage to ask the questions we instinctually feel.
At NeighborLink, we work hard to help neighbors in need connect to neighbors that are open to responding with tangible acts of kindness. When neighbors connect to help one another, neighborhoods are strengthened because relationships matter. Neighbors helping neighbors remind each other that they have each other’s backs. Small things change neighborhoods and it begins with neighbors making an intentional effort to serve or be kind to one another. But, in order to do that, you need to get outside of your house and get to know one another.
Our Be a Good Neighbor Week is your opportunity to join NLFW as we organize a number of projects for neighbors in need throughout Fort Wayne. We are dedicating our time and energy to making projects available the entire week for volunteers to simply show up for. We will be working all day, each day that week including evenings on a couple of days. If a date or time doesn’t work for you, we’ll find a time to ensure you get connected. Have a big group of neighbors that want to volunteer together, we'll find a project specifically for you as close to home as possible. Just want to join in on what we're doing, regardless of skill, we have a project for you.
Be a Good Neighbor Week is designed to show and inspire you to find ways to be a good neighbor. Even if you don’t join us on a NL project, consider ways you can do small things. Pick up trash as you walk your dog. Bake cookies for the neighbors around you. Turn on the water sprinkler in your front yard. Host a cookout with neighbors. Mow the grass for the house that’s for sale next door. You know the needs in your neighborhood. It’s just a matter of acting on the instincts you have.
To join us at NL or for more ideas, visit us at Be a Good Neighbor Week and sign up today. Try to stretch yourself this summer. Take a half day or a full day off work. Skip your normal routines for this. Whatever you can do, simple do it. Small things do change neighborhoods and we’re in control of the small things.