Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in March


ways-to-be-a-good-neighbor-tree-plantings-good-neighbor-stories-pam-marinoRain, finally! The dust and dirt that was building up on all the shrubs, trees and outdoor surfaces is washed away, giving the feeling of a fresh start. Spring is just a couple of weeks away, so put winter behind you and start something new that will make your neighborhood and community a better place.

Here are five ways you can make a difference this month.

1. Spring Spruce Ups: Parks, open spaces and eco-friendly organizations are organizing outdoor clean-ups and plantings all month. The Golden Gate Audubon Society has several habitat restoration events on both sides of the bay, and Save the Bay has similar types of restoration and planting events open to volunteers. The San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club is hosting a tree planting event in Oakland on March 8. Or check out the numerous events offered by Our City Forest in San  Jose.

2. Educate Yourself About Income Inequality: Silicon Valley De-Bug is hosting the Forum on Inequality in Silicon Valley from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 6, at the Camera 12 Theaters, 201 S. 2nd Street, San Jose. The award-winning website’s staff is bringing together community leaders to speak about the problem of income inequality, along with a local hip hop artist who is premiering a video, “Gold Out West,” for this free community event. [Read more…]

Put Your Sweater On and Help Someone, it’s ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ Day


It’s “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Day, a.k.a Mister Rogers’ birthday. America’s favorite neighbor would have been 85 today. Over the last 10 won't-you-be-my-neighbor-day-fred-rogers-mister-rogers-volunteerismyears since his death, March 20 has grown in popularity as a special day to promote volunteerism and all-around neighborliness. Plus wearing sweaters.

When “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” premiered on PBS in 1968, the gentle children’s show always started with the song, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”, along with Mister Rogers putting on a signature cardigan sweater (usually zip-up, and always knitted by his mother) and a pair of lace-up tennis shoes. The show encouraged the qualities of creativity, kindness, tolerance, and altruism.

In Fred Rogers’ hometown of Pittsburgh, PA., city groups celebrate this day with volunteer service projects, and everyone is encouraged to don a cardigan sweater. In fact, collection drives for sweaters, shoes, and other clothes, along with diapers, food, books, and more, are popular events. [Read more…]

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Day


It’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Day, the day that marks Mister Rogers’ birthday. It’s a big day in Pittsburgh, PA., where Rogers lived, but the day is catching on elsewhere as a time to do something nice for others in the spirit of his neighborliness. Wearing a sweater is an optional, but a fun part of the tradition.

Fred Rogers would have been 84 today. He died Feb. 27, 2003, of stomach cancer, less than two months after he served as grand marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade with Art Linkletter and Bill Cosby. Rogers made an impact on childrens television like few others. In his own soft spoken way he became America’s neighbor.

So “make the most of this beautiful day,” and wear your favorite sweater (and if so inclined, submit a photo of you in said sweater to The Fred Rogers Company). And make sure to do something neighborly for someone you encounter today.

You could be a neighbor to this website by encouraging your friends on Facebook to “like” our Facebook page, or your Twitter followers to follow our Twitter page. If you do either of those things by midnight tonight, you’ll be entered in a drawing for the book, The World According to Mister Rogers; Important Things to Remember.

Have a wonderful day, Neighbor.

Enter to Win Our Mister Rogers Book Giveaway in Honor of ‘Neighbor’ Day


In honor of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Day on Tuesday, March 20—the day that marks Mister Rogers’ birthday—Good Neighbor Stories is giving away copies of The World According to Mister Rogers in a special drawing. We’re asking our readers to help us meet more neighbors by introducing friends to the website!

To be eligible to win a free copy of the Mister Rogers book you either need to ask your Facebook friends to “Like” Good Neighbor Stories, or ask your Twitter followers to follow our Twitter account. When you do either of those things between 8 a.m. PDST, Friday, March 16, and 12 midnight PDST, on Tuesday, March 20, your name will be entered into the drawing. You can increase your chances of winning by doing both. Don’t forget to tag us in your status update so we know you’ve promoted the site. We’ll pick two winners on Wednesday, March 21.

In the meantime, think about how to meet some new neighbors yourself this week as a way to remember America’s best neighbor ever.


Won’t You be My Neighbor?


Fred RogersOK, I’ll admit it. I love Mister Rogers. I grew up watching the smiling man in the cardigan and sneakers who spoke in that slow, patient voice. I loved the Neighborhood of Make Believe, as well as Mister Rogers’ own TV neighborhood, which included field trips to crayon factories, fire stations and other places that hold a fascination for children. I really liked that when he left his house, you would see the cardboard cut-out neighborhood, which would suddenly include said factories or stations, as if any and all places Fred Rogers visited were a part of  his neighborhood, regardless of geographic realities. To Fred, everyone in the world was his neighbor, and how we treated each other became important.

Maybe that love for the man who wanted to be neighbor to all is what ultimately inspired me to want to write about people being good neighbors. That inspiration led me to create this blog, which is about just what the names says: stories about people being good neighbors, whether around the block or around the world.

Good Neighbor Stories will feature stories, links, and ideas about how to be a good neighbor wherever you are. It will also feature reviews of books, TV programs, websites, movies and other media relevant to helping others. Even more importantly, this blog is a chance for you to interact with us. What are your stories about good neighbors? Please share with us in the comment section.

Welcome to the Neighborhood! I’m glad we’re neighbors.