"The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these."
Jesus tells us that there is no greater commandment that to love our neighbors. Often we look at this in the broad sense of loving everyone around us, which we should, but it's easy to choose who you love, based on who you spend time with. My goal for the rest of this year is to step outside my comfort zone, and show love to my neighbors in ways I never have before (like ever, I'm a terrible neighbor... I keep to myself and don't talk to anyone because I'm naturally shy).
With that in mind, I started looking for ideas of ways my family and I could serve our neighbors and here are some of the awesome ideas I found.
- Pull Them Weeds & Rake Them Leaves
No one likes weeds, but that's mainly because no one likes pulling weeds. Why not have your children go around the neighborhood offering to pull their weeds (just make sure the kids know what's a weed, and what's not!). I would say you could try to pull their weeds with the kids, but there aren't many people who would allow an adult to pull their weeds free of charge. You could however offer to mow their lawn! Just mention that any time they go on vacation or know that their schedule is going to be hectic, to drop you a line on Facebook and let you know.
- Gift Baskets!
Everyone loves getting a gift every now and then. While you don't really hear about it much anymore, May Day used to be a pretty popular holiday. Neighbors would make "May Day Baskets" filled with flowers and candy and hang them on their neighbors doors. I think the more popular "gifting" tradition of our generation would be "Boo"ing a neighbor. With a quick look on pinterest, I also learned about Pinching, Elfing, and even Egging neighbors as well. You don't have to wait for a special holiday to "Ding, Dong, Ditch" your neighborhood. Anytime is a good time to show your neighbors that you're thinking of them. Need some ideas? I've posted some of my favorite links below.
May Day Baskets
Paper May Basket
"Egg"ing Your Neighbors
"Boo"ing Box Idea
How To "Boo" Your Neighbor (w/printables)
The "Ding, Dong, Ditch"
"Elf"ing Your Neighbor
"Pinching Your Neighbor
- Set Up A Neighborhood Facebook Group
Our neighborhood uses Nextdoor which is very similar to a facebook group. Having a neighborhood social media account is a great way to let everyone know what's going on in the neighborhood (not gossip), and even work together to host events (like yard sales, surprise parties, and more). It would also be a great way to host events like "Parents Night Out" where a few families watch everyone's children so they can go on a date night, or even go out as a group. You can offer babysitting for job interviews and doctors appointments or meals for families who have been ill or just had a baby. The possibilities are endless.
- Host a Neighborhood Cookout
My neighbor does this every single year. It's so much fun, and a great way to get to know the neighbors. Everyone brings one dish, and he provides everything else (honestly it's amazing he gets a DJ and everything).
- Work Together & Share Resources
You could arrange a book swap or a neighborhood lending library (do people still read real books?). Tell neighbors which tools you're willing to lend out and swap tools and equipment. A clothing swap, a food drive for the community, just start thinking about what you would like to do for and with your neighbors and the ideas will start flowing.