52 Weeks of Neighboring – Week 35

Neighboring Tip of the Week - Brainstorm how you can foster a welcoming presence the next time a neighbor comes over.

52 Weeks of Neighboring

Neighboring Tip of the Week – Brainstorm how you can foster a welcoming presence the next time a neighbor comes over.

Good afternoon, friend!

A truck pulled up in front of the house, and an adult with a couple kids walked up to the front door and rang the doorbell. After a few moments, my neighbors appeared, joyfully greeting the guests and offering them chairs on the front porch. One of the neighbors disappeared for a moment and then returned with various toys and lollipops, which they proceeded to offer to the children. Everyone settled into their porch chairs and joyfully talked and laughed for over an hour. Eventually, the guests indicated that they needed to run to another commitment, but the interaction could have lasted for hours!

kristopher on our staff told us this story about his neighbors during our staff meeting this week, and we found it so inspiring. Turns out, the arriving guests were just acquaintances of his neighbors who happened to be in the neighborhood and just decided to drop by, upon which his neighbors welcomed them so joyfully! This story got us thinking…What if we welcomed our neighbors in the same way?

So, this week, we encourage you to brainstorm how you can foster a welcoming presence the next time a neighbor comes over. This tip is really quite simple; we would simply encourage you to think about how fostering a welcoming presence might look for you! We know neighbors sometimes pop over to say hello or ask questions, so how might you respond to them when they do? Will you offer them a chair on the front porch? A drink? A snack? Will you let them know how joyful you are to see them? How might welcoming them look for you? We encourage you to simply think about this, make a tentative plan in your mind, and the next time a neighbor walks on over, make it happen!

Now, like all of our tips, because we live in the midst of a global pandemic, please only experiment with this tip in a way that ensures the safety of both you and your neighbors. For instance, normally, it would be fantastic to offer for a neighbor to step inside when they come over, but these aren’t normal times, and that’s not a great idea anymore. We would encourage you to think about how you might be able to foster this same welcoming presence on your front porch or in your front yard, which allows for physical distancing. Per usual, within the realm of safety, be creative with this! Let’s seek to be welcoming presences on our blocks.

Happy neighboring!

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