Thursday, August 25, 2016

When A Community Joins Together



There’s an app we use in our neighborhood called Nextdoor. It’s a private social network to keep those in your immediate community informed about things like lost pets, babysitting recommendations, or even form a neighborhood watch.

When I first heard about it on Facebook, I was slightly hesitant. Where I grew up in the north you kept to yourself. A wave hello to your neighbors, maybe exchange a few friendly words to see how the kids were, and maybe…just maybe, get together for a BBQ every now and again. But for the most my parents dragged us into the house so we “didn’t end up chatting with the Johnson’s for forty-five minutes.” It was up to us kids to socialize with each other. Not the adults.

Then my hubby’s career took us to the southern half of the United States and boy was I in for a culture shock. Neighbors actually knocked on my door and brought me cake and cookies to welcome me into the community. I even got a gift basket from the local stores. What? My neighbors remained friendly. Although we moved out of state almost ten years ago, some still send us baked goods for the holidays. Hello Southern Hospitality!

With that warmth in mind, I joined Nextdoor. I’ve been a member for a couple of years but for the most part, I remain quiet on the site. I click the “welcome” button. Donate things from time to time, but usually stay to myself.

I’ve seen many good things on the site. Mostly rescued pets. Lots and lots of rescued pets. My how they tend to wander away from their owners! I’ve also seen my local officials, police, and community outreach members become a part of it too. That’s awesome to witness.

I’ve seen some not so good stuff too. Although it’s rare and if it happens, it’s removed quickly. I’m thinking Nextdoor has moderators 24/7 to ensure rumors or solicitors aren’t present.

Recently, I watched an outstanding event unfold. Our neighborhood banded together. One of our neighbors, an elderly gentleman, hadn’t been seen riding his bike lately. His yard, normally well groomed, had become overgrown. No one had seen him outside tending his rose bushes or greeting people as they passed by. Someone inquired if they knew anything about him because many of us knew about his history of blackouts and that he had no family in the immediate area.

After many responses, we came together and as a whole, were able to find out that our friend and neighbor was doing okay. His health had taken a bit of a turn, but because of the outpouring of concern, a welfare check was done, his yard was cut, a neighbor has a key to his home, and phone numbers were exchanged in case of emergency.

It really made my heart smile to know that this site, the one that made me feel like a nosey neighbor at first, ended up helping an elderly man in need. In fact, it led to a night out in the park this weekend for the neighborhood kids to play corn hole while parents connect and they are re-forming a neighborhood watch too. Pretty cool, huh?


Do you have something like Nextdoor? If not, would you consider joining it?

35 comments:

  1. I have heard of this, but never joined one. Maybe I will have to reconsider it. When we lived in Prescott, Arizona I joined a few Facebook groups for the area and there were similar stories of people banding together to help each other.

    Betty

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    1. That's such an awesome thing to hear - people banding together to help others. I was really impressed and so inspired by how well our community came together for that man. It was so kind and generous.

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  2. Never heard of that. People are more friendly here than they were when I lived in the city, but that's to be expected. Still wouldn't say any neighbors in the immediate area go out of their way to do anything. One's a real douchebag, a dirty cop to boot(supposedly), and the rest are just meh with everything. Not that hermit me would socialize any way lol

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    1. I think that's the way it is in general, Pat. People who live in the city are more likely to keep to themselves than those that live out in the country areas. Not sure why though. It's strange. I'm glad I took the chance and joined this site. It's given me a chance to see the different side of of my neighbors. Sorry you have some crappy neighbors. I have those too. Can't avoid them all.

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  3. That sounds really nice, but I probably wouldn't join one cause I keep to myself. I have made no effort to meet my neighbours in the 5+ years I've lived here. I don't think I'd like living down south. I am a bit standoffish with people I don't know.

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    1. I didn't think I'd like the southern style of living either because I'm from up north, but I have to say, it really was nice. People genuinely cared about each other. I take a long time to warm up to people I don't know...my southern friend teased me about quite a bit :)

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  4. Hi Elsie - I've never heard of NextDoor .. but certainly some communities here band together to be aware of and take care of their neighbourhood ... great idea and we can learn and help so much .. good for you - cheers Hilary

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    1. I'm glad I found it. It's been good to see people helping people. I'm glad you also have people and communities that band together to help each other. That does my heart good. Be well!

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  5. How caring and thoughtful. We don't have that around here. I wish my neighbors were giving me cookies.
    Love you, hon.

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    1. What's funny, is that I still have neighbors that exchange treats for Christmas and now even Halloween. How cool is that? Love ya, babe!

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  6. This is awesome! You are so blessed to have a neighborhood like this!

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    1. I agree, Josie (great to see you again!). I'm am blessed to be in a caring community like this one.

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  7. That is VERY COOOOOOL. Love stuff like this.

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    1. I think so too. This really did make my day...no, my week!

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    2. Easy to see why. I love that some still send you baked goods.

      Cool beaners.

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  8. I've never heard of this app, but am going to check it out!!!! Also, Welcome To The South where the tea is sweeter, mac and cheese is vegetable and front porches are often welcome gossip. Pecan pies is staple food and if you're from West Virginia so is kraut and pepperoni rolls. Y'all is a proper noun. Biscuits come with gravy and everything is darlin'. Bless your heart!!!

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    1. This made me laugh. When I lived in the south, they teased me relentlessly because of my accent. And because I said PEEcan pie and you guys instead of y'all. I have to admit, I've never heard of pepperoni rolls but I LOVE kraut - on hot dogs! Oh, and you guys also call all soda, coke. At least they dd where I lived. "I'll have a coke." "What flavor?" That took some getting used to. :)

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  9. As your long island buddy, I'd be in a culture shock too!! I've been in my house almost a year and I've met TWO neighbors. ...and only because the guy felt bad for me watching me shovel my driveway in a blizzard. Lmao

    But, that app does sound very useful!

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    1. Nailed it!! And they should feel bad for you for having to shovel your snow with a small child in tow! What the heck? :)

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  10. We do live in the south and most of our neighbors would not find that nosy. I'll have to download it.

    We have an elderly widow who lives behind us, just outside the subdivision, and I try to check on her every other week, taking her baked goods and stuff.

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    1. I think it's a great site. I'm glad I discovered it. It's so good that you keep an eye on your neighbor. I'm sure she appreciates it and I'm sure her family does too.

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  11. I've never heard of that app. I tend to be very reserved but I understand the value of friendliness among neighbours. I think it's a good thing.

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    1. I'm a lot like you, Debra. My first instinct is to keep to myself. This app has helped me reach out to my neighbors a bit more. Especially those that are in need.

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  12. In our old neighborhood, that would be cool as can be, though we always pretty much did it without any app. Here, neighbors are too transient. Apartment complex and all.

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    1. That makes a lot of sense, Chris. I could see how quickly people would come and go in an apartment complex.

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  13. We don't have it here Elsie but I think its a cool way of bonding together with other people. Enjoy our week/end !

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    1. Maybe you guys will get it one of these days. It's a really cool site. I hope you had a fantastic weekend and your week is just as great!

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  14. That's awesome the neighborhood pulled together for that elderly gentleman. I wonder if our neighborhood is using that app?

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    1. I thought it was great too, Alex. And we still are, which is even better. A lot of good came from that one person's post of concern for him.

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  15. Good to hear people still care, Elsie. :)

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  16. I've never heard of this app but how great that you were able to help that man. I'm so reserved I know I would be very quiet on the app but how wonderful to know you have that kind of safety net in your neighborhood.

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    1. I tend to keep to myself too. I feel like I'm being too nosey if I butt in too much. This app allows me to kind of lurk and pick and choose when I want to be vocal or not. I like that feature :)

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  17. Wow, that's really awesome, especially that everyone was able to band together and help your elderly neighbor. We... would not ever use that here. My neighbors are, um, of the not-friendly persuasion, and if anyone checked on anyone, it would probably just be to make sure they WERE dead.

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    1. LOL, that's so sad, Bryan. I have a set of neighbors that are pretty much the same way. I think we provide the entertainment for them. I used to get all wrapped up in it, and then realized it was just me feeding into their drama and stopped caring what they thought. I figured if they found me entertaining, their life much not be that exciting.

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