The following was written by the LINCCK Civility • Compassion • Kindness team:
Are you interested in hosting or helping to arrange for a Neighbors Night Out (NNO) event this year? Anyone can do it. The Plateau area has been promoting neighborhood gatherings for the last eight years to create healthier and safer communities. NNO always occurs the first Tuesday in August which this year is Aug. 6, and it’s our version of National Night Out, celebrated around the nation.
NNO is a wonderful opportunity to meet, socialize, and learn about the community, and share stories, hobbies, talents and resources. Just get to know one another, and improve the safety of those who live closest as well as your own loved ones. Any size works, in front or back yards – tea for two in the afternoon, a potluck picnic or a block party. Be creative and have whatever type of event you want.
Our community will be stronger and healthier if we can build neighborhood solidarity. Life is more enjoyable if we know who lives beside us. Young children benefit from other pairs of watchful eyes, and some individuals with special needs welcome assistance in emergencies. Who in your neighborhood has special skills? Enhancing neighborhood camaraderie and spirit is always beneficial to all concerned.
LINCCK Civility • Compassion • Kindness is a Plateau-grown grassroots organization of volunteers that initiated NNO, and is all about promoting goodwill and better relationships. Get to know firefighters, first responders, police or city officials in a non-emergency situation, as they have taken part in NNO gatherings over the last several years when invited in. Reach out and ask them to drop by.
We’ve had various themes over the years for those who want a point of discussion, from communal gardening to emergency preparedness. This year’s theme is how to build habits for being a better neighbor. LINCCK’s other initiative the last four years has been Habits for Happiness, called SoHaPP. Instead of focusing on mental illness, this initiative seeks to build mental well-being, and also works great for improving relationships between people. SoHaPP strengthens the muscles that let us be more positive, kind, mindful, active and grateful.
Imagine if people could be more that way toward each other, if a friendly smile can be shared more often, if a helping hand can be offered more readily. How about being more positive with a cherry disposition when greeting someone? Communication is half listening, and one can really improve those skills by being more mindful. Join in on walks around the neighborhood, or maybe you’ll discover a partner holding you accountable for regular exercise. How about being better at thanking your neighbors when they do something nice?
What better way to build a healthy neighborhood? There is a proven method for building these habits, and the link is at NNO’s web site. SoHaPP begins again in January 2020, so there is plenty of time to learn about it.
Our site is www.neighborsnightout.org, which has a flyer for this year, or call 360.825.5581. Go to our Facebook, Neighbors Night Out, and perhaps create a Facebook Community Page for your neighborhood, or use Next Door. For more information, check out the NNO ad on page 23 of the newspaper, and use the invitation as one possible way to reach out. You can also just post a sign in your area offering a place to gather. Do what works for you. Join in the fun and arrange for an NNO in your neighborhood.