Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in June


Being a good neighbor is rewarding, but it does take some time and effort. Sometimes it’s spontaneous, like when you see someone who donut_grlneeds help carrying something, or someone who just needs a smile and kind word. But often it requires some planning, making space on the calendar, and digging into your pockets. Every month I give you five suggestions for community events, volunteer service events, and more. Put one of these on your June calendar, and then enjoy the rewards of helping others!

1. Share Some Fried Dough Goodness: Friday, June 6, is National Donut Day, originally started to commemorate the Salvation Army “Lassies,” young volunteer women who made and delivered fresh doughnuts to American soldiers in Europe during World War I and II. When the soldiers returned home they craved the sweet treats, and the rest of America was introduced to the doughnut. Krispy Kreme gives away a free doughnut to each customer (no purchase required), and many other doughnut shops are running their own specials. Make your friends and co-workers smile that day with a fresh, hot batch. Or make the day a little more meaningful than just calories by making a donation to the Salvation Army, to support the organization’s extensive community programs and disaster relief efforts. Entenmann’s, which makes 780 million doughnuts annually, is teaming up with the Salvation Army this year, by offering to donate $1 for every new “like” on its Facebook page during June, up to $30,000. [Read more…]

How to be a Good Neighbor at Election Time; Why it’s Important to Vote


Note: Today I give reasons why good neighbors vote. Join me next time for a list of ways to be a good and kind neighbor to our family, friends, and fellow citizens throughout the election season.

I spend a lot of time at Good Neighbor Stories working to inspire people to be better neighbors, not just in the literal sense of proximity on our own blocks, but in the global sense of how our actions ripple out through our communities and the rest of the world. What we do—or don’t do—has very real impact, even if we don’t perceive it. And while I haven’t said it explicitly, I do imply in my writings that being a good neighbor equals being a good citizen.

In this age of  up to half or more of the eligible voters not exercising the right to vote, this may seem like a bold, or even naive, claim: good neighbors/citizens vote. It is a right, but it’s also a responsibility. And with that responsibility comes some preparation so that the vote you make is an informed one.

If you have not registered to vote, or moved since you last voted, you have until Monday, Oct. 22, in California (postmarked or turned in at an official site) to register. You can register right now onlineOnce registered, take some time to do a little research before voting. In my next post, I’ll go into more detail on that aspect.

In the meantime, here are several basic reminders of why it’s important to vote: [Read more…]

Five Ways To Be A Good Neighbor In January


Happy New Year! Here’s to this being a great year for all of us. What better way to start the new year than with a resolve to be a good neighbor all year long."Fourth of July" Rose

We’re kicking off 2012 with a list of five ways to be a good neighbor this month. If you know of some more ways, please share with us in the comments!

1) “Prune!” at the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden: Here in the Bay Area, January is the month to prune roses to ensure beautiful blooms this spring and summer. Doable if you have a few rose bushes in your garden, a monumental task if you are the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, which features more than 4,000 plants on 5 and a half acres. On Saturday, Jan. 7, join hundreds of people for this one-day event. It starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m. There’s a brief training included. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and close-toed shoes. Bring gloves, pruning tools, and a filled water bottle.

2) Donate Blood: No, not at the pruning event! January is National Blood Donor Month, established in 1970. The holiday season usually means less blood donations, because of holiday schedules, [Read more…]

30 Ways to Be A Good Neighbor This Holiday Season: Part 1


Thanksgiving is behind us and we now start the march to the December holidays. Last year I ran a three-part series on ways to be a good neighbor during the holidays, and those ways remain as evergreen asPlate of cookies for neighbors. well, holiday evergreens. Today I’m reposting part 1 about how to be a good neighbor in your own neighborhood. Parts 2 and 3 talk about how to be a good neighbor in your greater community, and in the world.

Hope you enjoy these ideas, and please, share your own with us here! And if you do follow through on a good neighbor action this holiday season, share what happens with us here, too.