You can help build a calm and nurturing community through hosting a neighborhood gathering. Our community affects us both physically and mentally.
Gatherings are a great way for everyone to connect with each other, to build their sense of community. It gives everyone a chance to build long-lasting relationships, support each other, and become a better version of themselves. It also gives you the chance to get to know your neighbors well and create a bond that could last for generations. And because you’re here, clearly you have the initiative to make your community a little brighter. Kudos to you!
Whether it’s your first time doing this or you only need some reminders along the way, this article gives you what you need to get started with it.
Decide On When and What Kind Of Gathering You Want
Neighborhood gatherings are fun and exciting, but even the most laid-back kind requires some planning. It’s best to start planning around 12 weeks before hosting. Oh, you won’t be alone in planning it all, there will be people who can help you with that but we’ll come back to that later. Since you’re the host, you have to first decide on what kind of gathering you want your neighborhood to have. Here are some of the ideas you can choose from:
- Classic Block Party. The traditional way of celebrating your time together. Neighbors showing each other’s culinary skills through a variety of bars set up. Barbecue bar, ice cream bar, lemonade stands, etc. Also games organized for everyone to enjoy.
- Garage Sale. A great way to earn while connecting with your neighbors. A casual dinner party, where everyone can chip in, is perfect for this kind of gathering.
- Outdoor Game/Movie Night. Perfect for holidays such as 4th of July and halloween where everyone can get spooked together or compete with each other.
- Oktoberfest. A great party for the adults in the neighborhood who want to have friendly conversation over drinks and grilled meat.
- Clean-Up Day. A gathering dedicated to making the neighborhood more pleasant to live in. Cleaning the streets, helping one another paint the houses and fences. It keeps everyone healthy and safe from diseases.
- Gardening Party. This can be a laid-back gathering or a full-on event into beautifying your neighborhood. There will always be neighbors who are into gardening and maybe everyone can learn a thing or two from them.
Find Volunteers And Assign Tasks To Them
Because you are to host a neighborhood gathering, you are in need of volunteers who are willing to help you from start to finish. It’s anyway about connecting with your neighbors! For the most laid-back kind of party, a team of 6 would be enough. It’s best to start asking the ones you already know. But it’s also great to put signs if you don’t have enough members yet or to see if more are interested in helping.
When your team is already complete, ask and schedule dates of your meetings. Having more than one meeting can help your team check on what’s going well. It will also give you time to resolve some setbacks. Here are some tasks you can assign to them:
- Getting the permit. Depending on what kind of gathering you’ve picked, you’ll have to get a permit for it to happen. It’s best to assign this task to 2 people who know about it. If not, they can ask around for anyone who has hosted one and gotten a permit before.
- Organizing the gathering or party. This is on managing the food, choosing games to be played or movies to be watched. You’ll need, at the very least, 2 people for this task. More is better, especially if it's not a laid-back kind of party. It’s also important to be prepared in case of emergencies, make sure your team can bring first-aid kits.
- For the Pre-Party and Post-party. Your team may need to put ‘No Parking’ signs and cones around some areas a day or two before the event. 2 people can handle this task, but if it's a big party, then you’ll need more. Post-party care is also important, the people assigned can be part of the clean-up crew.
Make and Send Out Your Invites
Colorful invites are intriguing and exciting when it comes to promoting the party. There are various ways to invite your neighbors but the best way is to tape posters on front doors. Just make sure to use a tape that doesn’t leave residue! There are websites and apps available online for you to make the most suitable poster for your party invites. Be sure that the colors suit the kind of party you’re having and that it contains all details.
It’s also recommended to send these invites out at least 2 weeks before so your neighbors will be prepared. Or in case they have somewhere else to go. A team of 2 will be enough to send them out, but if you got a huge neighborhood, more will be better for the task. If you are connected to your neighbors on social media, you can also send over e-invites as a reminder when it comes down to a week before the party!
When the gathering's over, there’s still one more thing to do: Clean up. It’s better that you join the team that has been assigned for this task. Neighborhood gatherings build up a sense of community in everyone. So there will be invited neighbors who will also clean up after their own mess and help around without you asking them. Practice segregating the trash so everyone will also do it in their homes. The whole neighborhood will always appreciate party organizers leaving the venue as it was, or better, before the fun happened! It will also help getting the permit for another kind of gathering much faster and easier; seeing that people are anyway responsible.
Hosting a neighborhood gathering is among the active roles you can choose to do in your neighborhood. It’s important to remember that building each other’s sense of community will foster not only healthy and long lasting relationships, but also a peaceful and nurturing neighborhood for personal growth in both adults and kids. So whenever there’s something to celebrate about, don’t hesitate in hosting another one or being a volunteer!
If you want more tips on building relationships in your neighborhood, feel free to check out other articles I have written to help you exactly with that. I wish you the best of luck for your next social endeavors.
Written by Paul Sanders
Paul Sanders is an author, coach, and founder of GetTheFriendsYouWant.com. He has been writing and coaching on loneliness, shyness, social skills, conversation, friendship, and social life since 2011. He helped thousands of people change their social lives.