52 Weeks of Neighboring - 4/2

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Tip of the Week – Borrow something, like a tool or a cake pan, from a neighbor.

We hope your watch party went well last week. This week, we’re giving a simple, but important, neighboring tip.

Spring has sprung and with spring comes lots of projects. People are happy to have the nice weather and start working on things like outdoor projects, spring-cleaning, yard sales, or new cooking recipes. If you’re in the middle of one of your projects and discover you’re in need of something you don’t have, don’t head to the nearest store. Head to a neighbor’s front door! (Yes, we realize that rhymed.) Of course, be courteous and return the item in a timely matter and in the same or better condition as when you borrowed it.

If you’ve been following our neighboring tips, you may remember our tip on asking for a neighbor’s help for a spring project. Don’t remember? Check out the blog here. This week’s tip is similar because it falls under the discipline of borrowing – asking our neighbors for help when we need it.

The idea for this tip originated from our own neighboring experiment. Catherine was working on a cake, a carrot birthday cake to be exact. And of course, you need not one round pan, but two, to make a carrot cake (according to Catherine). As she had no round pans, her first instinct was to go buy them. She could have run to the nearest store, purchased one, and been home in 15 minutes. But instead, she decided to intentionally practice the discipline of borrowing and ask her neighbors for help. After checking with the neighbors closest to her, she had no luck and still no cake pans. But, she remembered that a neighbor she had met a few blocks over was a chef and might have a round pan to lend. She did!

Catherine had to do quite a bit of work to get those cake pans – a lot more work than running to the store. However, by deciding to borrow, she was able to explore the neighborhood, make a connection with a neighbor, and build social capital.

So instead of buying something you don’t have, borrow it! Depending on our neighbors for some help is a vital piece of community.

Happy neighboring!