How to show your community you care

food-sharing-m.jpg

Photo courtesy of: Southern Living

When I was in college, I had a roommate named Amanda. Amanda and I were, for lack of a better term, "nerds." Neither of us joined a sorority and it was pretty certain that we'd both be in our pjs writing papers or watching TV by 8 p.m. The year I graduated though, Amanda's world was rocked by the death of her mother. Amanda was only 20.

Death was something I had experienced as a child (unfortunately many relatives and family friends passed away in a close span), but it was the first time I spent days with the person, grieving with her. I stayed with Amanda and watched as neighbor after neighbor, family member after family member, poured into her house carrying casseroles, baked goodies, and frozen meals. The amount of support, food, and love that showed up at her door for weeks was impressive.


Although new to me at the time, this type of community support doesn't just happen. It's built by a group of caring neighbors and friends and based on difficult circumstances like illness, births, and deaths. A neighborhood support network can help in numerous ways, including organizing people to provide meals when needed, and sharing carpools or lawn maintenance. Not only does a caring community network strengthen bonds but also provides the comfort of knowing people will be there when you need them most.


Create The Good offers the tools you need to build a community network. Download the toolkit and start changing the lives of your neighbors today.

Are you currently part of a community network? What types of things does your community do for others?

Search AARP Blogs

Related Posts
October 27, 2015 05:58 PM
Lexi Jadoff, 31, is a driven, ambitious Washington, D.C., consultant with a unique way of de-stressing. She volunteers with The Reading Connection (TRC), a nonprofit that promotes reading for at-risk families. Jadoff is among the Read-Aloud volunteers who read each week with children at shelters and affordable apartment complexes.
September 17, 2015 02:29 PM
Some people take a fitness class before heading to work. Others jog a mile or two. Jennifer Kenealy, 45, gets her morning workout by hauling boxes of children’s books to schools, recreation centers, youth-focused nonprofit organizations and other sites. These are spots where children of low-income families congregate as part of Alexandria Book Shelf (ABS), a citywide literacy program run by the uber-creative DreamDog Foundation.
September 08, 2015 11:10 AM
Men in tuxedos and women in sparkly jackets mingle in the Green Room of the Little Theater of Alexandria (LTA) in Virginia. A pianist in the far corner plays show tunes on a baby grand piano while a small group sings “Hello, Dolly.” Other guests sip wine and nibble on artistically presented hors d’oeuvres.