Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in October


Like those fun Russian nesting dolls, tucked inside each one of our five ways to be a good neighbor tips are even more ideas on how to Pink for Octobermake your community a much better place. Take a peek, see what ideas pique your interest, and do good!

Know some more ways? Leave ideas in the comment section, or drop us a line and let us know about ideas in October, November, and beyond.

1. Go Pink: If you’re noticing pink ribbons cropping up everywhere, it’s because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Nonprofits, health groups, government agencies, and businesses are banding together to promote awareness of the disease, raise funds for research, and provide greater access to diagnosis and treatment. Events are taking place all month, like El Camino Hospital’s Girls’ Night Out on Oct. 23, in Los Gatos, or the TREK Breast Cancer Awareness Ride on Oct. 13, in Los Altos. You can even bowl for breast cancer awareness in a special league in Milpitas; proceeds throughout the month go to fund Susan G. Komen For the Cure. On Oct. 27 the American Cancer Society is presenting the 5th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, in San Jose. For even more ideas, check out this local story. For early detection cancer screening for low income women, see the Every Woman Counts page on the California Department of Health Services website.

2. Walk On: Speaking of walking, besides the aforementioned breast cancer walk, there are a number of charity walks happening in the Bay Area this month. Consider raising money for a good cause, while at the same time meeting friendly people and getting some exercise along the way. Upcoming charity walks include the Bay Area Leadership Foundation Fourth Annual Walk for Leadership in Oakland on Oct. 6, to benefit deserving youth going to college, the Walk for Farm Animals in San Francisco on Oct. 13, promoting compassionate treatment of farm animals, and the Bay Area Walk/Run for Food Allergies in Memory of BJ Hom, also on Oct. 13, in San Jose, to support the Food Allergies and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). On Oct. 14 walkers can support the American Diabetes Association at the  Step Out: Walk to End Diabetes  in San Jose. And on Oct. 20 it’s the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, in San Jose.

3. Be Festive: Fall seems to bring out the festivals, so take advantage of the chance to make new friends in your community. Nearly every city is having some sort of get together this month, either to mark the harvest season, Oktoberfest, the upcoming Halloween holiday, or Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights. There are annual art and wine events in some cities, craft fairs, and music festivals. A great source for Northern California festival information is the Far Out City website. Keep your eyes open as well for school and church fall events that are open to the public, and other neighborhood happenings.

4. Make a Difference: Saturday, Oct. 27, is Make a Difference Day, celebrated nationwide. Here in the Bay Area you can find numerous volunteer service events to join up with that day. Locate projects near you through the HandsOn Network, or at One Brick Silicon Valley. Or create your own neighborhood project to make a difference. Use our Be Kind: Kindness Ideas Page, or our Be a Good Neighbor Page, as sources of inspiration.

5. Be Friendly, Not Scary: This Halloween think about using the popular holiday as a way to bring your neighbors a little closer together. Start a new tradition of a neighborhood costume parade before the sun sets, or offer neighbors a pre-trick-or-treat meal—a simple meal of soup or chili and hot apple cider would do nicely.