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Nice Neighborhood: Taking Care and Taking Notice of the People on Your Block

Living in a neighborhood is a unique experience. Bunking up in college dormitories, tucking away in the country or renting an apartment on a busy urban street has its benefits. But neighborhood living teaches you and your family the value of community, the benefits of sharing and the comfort of friendship.

September 28th marks National Good Neighbor Day. Celebrate it by being a good neighbor. Show the people around you how happy you are to live near them.

Eyes and Ears
You can shut your blinds and close your garage door, but in residential communities you’re never far from your neighbors. But the benefit of having people nearby sometimes goes unnoticed.

For example, have you ever seen Neighborhood Association stickers on your street? Kind neighbors in your area may have volunteered to keep an eye on your kids on their way home from school or en route to the park. Hopefully their careful guard is never needed. But your students are safer because of them. This is the perfect month to thank them for their time.

Yard Art
Apartment dwellers have a distinct advantage over homeowners. They don’t have to worry about their plants dying or their grass growing out of control when they skip town. Like people without pets, renters don’t need caretaking arrangements for weekend getaways. If one of your neighbors mowed your lawn or grabbed the paper when you were away, do something special for them in return. Give them mums or a pumpkin this autumn. Or, buy them a newspaper subscription. You won’t even have to look up their address.

How Sweet
May Day is a natural time to delight your neighbors with a sweet treat on their doorstep. But it’s less fun when they’re expecting a gift. Show neighbors you appreciate them in the cooler months too. Make them caramel apples or pumpkin bread on September 28th and you’ll really surprise them.

It’s easy to make friends with the parents of your kids’ playmates. And smiling and waving to the couple whose backyard meets yours doesn’t take much effort. But some neighbors may have flown under your radar, and they may need the most attention.

Need a Hand?
Check on any elderly couples on your street. Knock on their door and introduce yourself if you haven’t yet. Ask them if they’ve made snow removal arrangements for the coming winter, and offer to help if they need it. Keep in touch with them so they don’t feel excluded from the younger families on their block.

Kind neighbors make the grass greener (on both sides), and the street sweeter for everyone on it. Be an extra kind neighbor this fall show to neighbors you’re happy to be on their block.