The boxes are unpacked, the house is set up and everybody's settled into their new routine after the big move. Life is beginning to feel a bit more normal. But now that you're here and the immediate tasks have been taken care of, you want to get involved in your new neighborhood. What do you do?
Here are four ways you can get involved and get acquainted with your new neighbors. If you have more ideas, let us know below!
1. Join a group. Most neighborhoods have public forums, such as city or town council and citizen advisory group meetings, that address specific community issues. Groups like these allow you to get involved in the issues directly affecting your neighborhood. They're also an excellent way to meet like-minded people. An online search should give you some ideas of where to begin. If your neighborhood has a homeowners association, talk with the officers about the kind of support they need.
2. Volunteer. Identify a cause you feel passionate about, and think about donating your time and skills to a local organization. They'll appreciate any amount of time you can give. Volunteering offers an opportunity to make meaningful friendships with people who also live and volunteer in the community. Start by visiting neighborhood hospitals, animal shelters and community arts groups or schools, to inquire about volunteering opportunities. Youth sports teams are also an excellent way to get involved. If you’re having trouble locating a volunteer organization that fits you, visit the local public library and ask for suggestions.
3. Organize an Event. Donation drives, block parties and other group activities can be efficient and fun ways to meet neighbors and establish yourself as someone who's invested in the community. Share your idea by dropping off fliers. Include an email address and ask neighbors to contact you if they're interested. You can schedule a meeting for everyone who replies to generate more ideas and make plans for an event.
4. Fill a Need. If you feel your neighborhood is underserved in any regard, get the ball rolling yourself. For example, start a neighborhood association if your community doesn’t have one, or institute an adopt-a-block program to keep your neighborhood clean. Similarly, your neighborhood might benefit from a volunteer Neighborhood Watch group.