Two years ago we were fortunate enough to move in an amazing neighborhood. Seriously, when we were first looking at our house the owners kept gushing about how much they didn’t want to move (they were completely outgrowing the house) and how much they loved all their neighbors. If we weren’t already sold on the adorable house, the neighborhood sealed the deal for us.
One of the things that makes our neighborhood so awesome is all the love and service that goes around. I really don’t think I have ever met more selfless and loving people. We feel so lucky to live where we do and I really hope we never have to move! Today I wanted to share five easy ways that you can serve your neighbors and create an amazing community.
1. Take them a meal: We received meals from neighbors when we moved in and when we brought home a new baby and it was so appreciated. It’s a great way to show love and service and there is a way you can even step it up a little bit.
Last week I was cooking dinner when I noticed that we were going to have a lot of leftovers. I thought about just making a double batch of enchiladas and freezing one for later, but the thought came to me that someone near me might need dinner. I had no idea who needed dinner, but I started prepping anyway. I went to Facebook and basically posted that I was making dinner and the first person to comment was the lucky winner. Minutes were going by and no one was commenting and then I noticed my next door neighbors outside. I walked over and simply asked if they had dinner plans. Little did I know, the wife had been feeling sick all day and the husband had come home early to help. It was getting late and they were probably resorting to take out or fast food for dinner.
I was thrilled to be able to provide a home cooked meal for them on a stressful night. And they were so grateful. Taking in a meal to someone is such a great way to show service and an out of the blue meal could completely turn someone’s day around.
2. Bring in their trash, help shovel snow….: I’m not quite sure which of my neighbors is guilty of this, but every now and then on garbage day my trash cans will be brought back in from the road and put back neatly on the side of the house. It is such a simple gesture, but it has made my day quite a few times and taken care of one small task for the day.
Two winters ago we had lots and lots of snow. My husband worked all day and I was big a pregnant with a small toddler at home. More than once I would look out my window and see a neighbor shoveling our path and driveway. I’ll admit I cried more than once (hey, I was pregnant) at the thoughtfulness of our neighbors.
3. Be friendly and wave: I told you these were easy ways to show love and service but I really think this simple gesture speaks volumes. I love being outside and whenever a car passes we each smile and wave. Many times I have no idea who the person in the car was, but it creates a feeling of friendship and kindness in our neighborhoods.
4. Offer to watch their kids for an hour: Okay, last week I was having one of those days with my kids and I was ready to pull my hair out. Not two minutes later did my doorbell ring and it was my neighbor asking if my kids could go over to their house and play. Hallelujah! My kids were able to get out and play with friends and I got to clean up my downstairs, eat lunch in the quiet, and enjoy a little bit of guilty pleasure tv. This week I’m planning on returning the favor and I’ll take the craziness of the kids and give another mom a quick break.
5. Doorbell Ditch and Leave a note and a treat: This is one that kids and families love. Make up a yummy treat and write a note to a neighbor. Let them know how awesome you think they are, that you love being their neighbor, or anything else that might shine some light in their lives. Put them on the porch, ring the doorbell, and run for your life! The kids have a blast and it’s a great family activity.
I hope these quick and easy ideas have sparked your creativity and have you wanting to get out and serve your neighbors. I’d love to know your favorite ways to serve!