Every day is a great day to be a good neighbor! However, National Good Neighbor Day gives us an opportunity to pause and focus on neighboring. This year The Hopeful Neighbor Project, along with our partners and everyday neighbors, celebrated all around the country.
National Good Neighbor Day Collaboration
“Start with Hello” is a simple but vital component of neighboring and was a theme for National Good Neighbor Day this year. Nine authors and organizations passionate about neighboring, including The Hopeful Neighborhood Project, worked together to share the theme and information about National Good Neighbor Day with their audiences. NationalGoodNeighborDay.org, led by Tim DeTillis, added a map where people celebrating National Good Neighbor Day could register their ZIP Code and get resources for celebrating from various organizations represented in the collaboration. All over the country you could find “Start with Hello” logos appearing on social media and organizational websites.
Missouri Good Neighbor Week
This year the state of Missouri signed a law designating September 28, and the 6 days following, as Missouri Good Neighbor Week. The University of Missouri Extension Office’s Engaged Neighbor Program and The Hopeful Neighborhood Project teamed up to be co-sponsors of the week across Missouri. The results were overwhelming.
12,851 Acts of Neighboring have been registered
124 Engaged Neighbors were nominated for a state-wide award
295,812 social media views on posts related to Missouri Good Neighbor Week
40,765 visits to MissouriGoodNeighborWeek.org and the Missouri Extension Missouri Good Neighbor Week webpage
And, while the numbers are amazing, the individual stories of neighboring are what really matter. Sherry McCallister, from Houston, Missouri, uses her flower shop to celebrate the day. Together with community sponsors she purchased 3,000 roses for her community of 2,900 this year. On September 28, community members can stop in her flower shop and get a dozen roses, one for themselves and 11 to give away. She has been celebrating National Good Neighbor Day this way for the past 15 years, and this year was the biggest yet! She even worked with community partners to host a free movie screening for the community, showing, of course, a movie about Mr. Rogers!
And, while Sherry’s story is impressive, even more impressive were the everyday neighbors who were acknowledged for their daily care for their neighbors. From Joe, a 92-year-old, who faithfully cares for the community roads, to Sierra, a teenager whose neighbor says, “I’ve never met a more kind-hearted or engaged teen.” Each and every story of an individual going out of their way for their neighbors was inspiring. Great job Missourians!
The Hopeful Neighborhood Network
Our team, and many of you, also celebrated the day. The Hopeful Neighborhood Project teamed up with a local coffee shop, Teleo, to buy community members a Love Your Neighbor Latte. Teleo’s mission is to love their neighbors through their coffee shop which made them a perfect partner. The Love Your Neighbor Latte is a standard menu item. Ten percent of each purchase goes to support a local charity. This quarter they supported Love Like Jackson, a local non-profit providing support to children who have lost a sibling. We gave away 149 lattes and had some great conversations about neighboring!
Phil, another member of our network, hosted 25 neighbors in his condo building for a wine and cheese happy hour. Phil and his neighbors connected and made plans for more neighborly events in their condo community in the future.
National Good Neighbor Day is a great time to focus on neighboring, but neighboring that matters is not celebrated on just one day. The beauty of neighboring is in the constant presence of people who live near to you being people you can count on when you need them. People who bring hope by simply doing good, right where they live.