Our family just finished hosting our first neighborhood block party. We grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and provided lemonade and water for drinks. All-in-all it was a great success. We have lived in our house for 11 years and though we have met and known some of our neighbors over the years, we have never really come to know any of them very well. After bouncing the idea off of one of the men who has lived on our street the longest, Donna and I picked a date and started making plans.
Over a year ago I set up an online community for our neighborhood using Nextdoor. That has been an invaluable tool for communicating with folks who live around us. I have written about it before so I won’t go into detail again here (except to say that Nextdoor has changed the gift reward from Starbucks to Amazon—if you start a Nextdoor neighborhood, once you get 10 of your neighbors to sign up, they will send you a $50 Amazon gift card). Nextdoor has an event planning section that will place your event on a calendar, send out email invites, send postcards to houses that you designate and automatically format a flier that you can print and hand out. It really is that easy.
I met neighbors today that I had not known before. And I got to know several of them much better. Most of them hung around for several hours, sitting in shade, talking, learning a little about each other’s lives. It was a great way to spend a Saturday.