Five Ways to Be a Good Neighbor in May


Every month we give you five ways to be a good neighbor. Consider them little nudges to break out of your routine and think and act positively outward toward the community around you. We love to hear your suggestions of how you’re being a good neighbor, so please leave a comment or contact us.

Here are five suggestions for May, 2012.

1. Ride a Bike!: May is National Bike Month; to celebrate there are events around the Bay Area and nationally to get more people out of their cars. Nationally, Bike to Work Week is happening May 14-18, culminating with National Bike to Work Day on the 18th. The inaugural National Bike to School Day is May 9, according to The League of American Cyclists. In San Francisco and other Bay Area communities the 18th annual Bike to Work Day is Thursday, May 10. Bicyclist organizations all over the region are planning events that day, like special energizer stations along commuting routes. Consider joining in on the fun that day as a way to improve your health, the planet’s health, and interact with others in the community. You can also form a team of up to five people for the Team Bike Challenge or Company Bike Challenge, and rack up miles all month to earn points and potentially win prizes.

2. Be Kind to Animals: May 6-12 is Be Kind to Animals Week. The East Bay SPCA is sponsoring a photo contest for photos of “Kind Kids” posing with animals. The Humane Society of Silicon Valley is conducting a class on how to raise orphan kittens on Monday, May 7 (reservations required). They also have a class on Thursday, May 10,  “Helping Homeless Cats and Your Community”, for people who want to find out more about how to help homeless kitties.

3. Pitch in to Clean a Local Creek: National River Cleanup Day is Saturday, May 19. There are 41 cleanup sites around the Bay Area, where volunteers will be asked to pick up trash from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Visit the site and click on the registration link for the cleanup site you are interested in. It’s best to register early, since registration does close for sites once organizers reach the predetermined number of volunteers needed for the site. Usually there are sites still available last minute, but you might not get your first choice.

4. Celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage: It’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, to celebrate the contribution of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to the United States. It was first established as a national week in 1978, actually celebrated for the first 10 days of the month to coincide with the anniversaries of the first arrival of Japanese immigrants in 1843, and the contribution of Chinese workers to the Transcontinental Railroad completed in 1869. It was expanded to the entire month in 1992. Look out for events around the Bay Area all month. Or come to the largest gathering of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States at the Asian Heritage Street Celebration, happening all day, Saturday, May 19, at the San Francisco Civic Center.

5. Pay Tribute to the Golden Gate Bridge: The 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge is being celebrated all  year long. On Sunday, May 27, during Memorial Day weekend, the Bridging Us All Festival, spanning the San Francisco waterfront, from Fort Point to Pier 39, will fete one of the world’s most famous landmarks. The event includes music, exhibits, tours, and more. It concludes at approximately 9:30 p.m. with a fireworks display.

For more ideas, see our Ways to be a Good Neighbor Page.