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Sunday, August 4, 2013

National Night Out is Tuesday, August 6th (Take Time to Meet Your Neighbors)

I was talking with a friend the other day about knowing the people in your neighborhood. My friend is a realtor and she told me she went on New Year’s day around her neighborhood greeting her fellow neighbors and giving them coffee mugs filled with cookies. She thought it was a good way to meet her neighbors and to let them know she was a realtor living in their neighborhood just in case they ever needed a realtor. She said most of the people she met were very friendly, some were a little apprehensive though.
I thought about what she said and realized how important it is for us to know our neighbors. I probably have a unique situation because the house I live in, is the house I grew up in when I was little. Some of the neighbors I have known for more than 35 years. Some have moved way and some have passed away. I see my two girls with their friends on the street, like I was with my friends. I feel so blessed to be in the house I grew up in.

As I asked myself the question, “How well do I know my neighbors?” I realized I know most of my neighbors- I would say about 75 percent- but not all of them. 
I than remembered that one big day a year that is celebrated where people get out and meet their neighbors called National Night Out. It is coming up on Tuesday, August 6th. I thought that might be a good night to meet the rest of the neighbors. Years ago, we had a lady in our neighborhood who went around as part of the neighborhood watch group compiling a list of everyone’s name on the block and their phone numbers. This was actually something I thought was a good idea. If we ever had an emergency on the block or we thought something was suspicious, we could give the neighbor a call and let them know.  We have some older neighbors on the block who had emergency situations and the ambulance has come and taken them to the hospital. A few times I’ve had to call their emergency contacts. Their family members were so appreciative.  
I really think as parents we need to know who is in our neighborhood.  I am always watching my kids when they are outside in the front riding bikes or playing, but I still think it’s good to know who lives on our block. As neighbors, we keep an eye out for each other. If I see kids playing on the block and someone gets hurt, I know the parents of kids and can get the parents right away.
When you know your neighbors you can help them and they can help you. For instance, I remember having surgery a few years ago and some of the neighbors brought my family a meal. It was so nice. I too have brought meals to neighbors who have been sick or recovering from surgery. We also have fantastic neighbors who have helped take care of our animals when we are on vacation.
As we approach National Night Out, take the opportunity to meet a few neighbors. Turn on your porch lights, go outside and socialize. Maybe take charge and get a neighborhood watch group together in your community. I know some of my neighbors have become lifetime friends.
For more information about the event visit National Night Out

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