What comes after the 8 Front Doors Challenge – SoCe? (Part 1)

A blog from The Neighboring Movement co-founder and neighborhood organizer Catherine Johnson

What comes after the 8 Front Doors Challenge – SoCe? Well, we were wondering that as well! We knew that we wanted to celebrate the people in our neighborhood who are making the world better by being good neighbors – some of whom we have met over the past four months, and some of whom we have not. We also wanted to stay connected to our neighbors.

Celebrating extraordinary neighbors:

To discover some of the notable neighbors, we asked people completing our second 8 Front Doors Challenge survey if there was a standout neighbor they would like to nominate to receive a good neighbor gift. We received 19 nominations. We then used our asset map to assemble gift bags for the nominees. We obtained gift certificates from some local businesses as well as handmade soap, body scrub, bread, and candles from makers in the neighborhood.

As you might imagine, it is a lot of fun to knock on someone’s door and hand them a gift bag, telling them that a neighbor has nominated them because of their neighborliness. This afternoon I delivered two gift bags. The first was to a neighbor with whom I have visited several times. He was surprised to receive the nomination and commented that he didn’t think he was a particularly good neighbor. I replied by listing a few of the qualities I have observed in him and how those things matter to the people around him. I then went across the street to deliver gifts to a couple who had never spoken to us over the summer. For the first time, they answered our knock. We explained what we were doing and the guy grinned and asked who had nominated him. I love telling people that the small and not-so-small things they do to improve their block really do matter. With small kindnesses they are positively impacting the culture around them.

Who are the notable neighbors on your block and how might you show your appreciation for them?

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