February 17th is ‘World Kindness Day’, which got us to thinking how we could incorporate random acts of kindness into our own neighborhood. It turns out there are many ways to bring a little sunshine to someone’s life! Here are some of our favorites!
Go the Extra Yard
Some people love it, some can’t stand it, but yard work is something that needs to be kept on top of either way. If you’re planning to mow your lawn, paint your fence, or prune the hedges, why not ask your neighbor if they’d like you to do theirs as well? This is especially appreciated if your neighbors aren’t as mobile as they once were, or simply can’t find the time for yard work between looking after the kids and a multitude of other housework.
Maintenance and Repairs
Ever noticed that broken fence panel or upturned plant pot that seems to have been a feature of your neighbor’s yard for years? Things that you might be able to fix up pretty easily might seem like an unachievable goal for others. So, why not get your tools out and show your neighbors some love!
Helping Your Elderly Neighbors
Everyday chores can become increasingly difficult for the elders in our communities, and with the current pandemic, getting out and about isn’t as easy as it once was. If you have an elderly neighbor, it can be a really nice gesture to offer to grab some shopping, water their plants, or collect the mail. Even these seemingly small things can make a big difference.
It’s also nice to just see a friendly face and have a chat, even if it’s over the garden fence. Be sure to check that they’re okay for food and other essentials, and if you’re a whiz in the kitchen, you could even offer to set a portion of lunch aside for them!
Welcome Your New Neighbors
It’s always good to get along with your neighbors, and first impressions can make a big difference. If you have new people moving in next door, why not give them a hand to move their stuff in? Alternatively, taking some food or cakes over can be a really nice gesture — most people forget about food on moving day, so to have a neighbor bring something is a real treat!
Or Say a Warm Farewell to Your Old Ones
In the same vein, if your old neighbors are moving out, helping them pack up the moving truck can save them a lot of time. Again, food and refreshments are likely to be appreciated, since they probably won’t be able to cook anything substantial themselves with the kitchen packed away. If you know each other well, you might even offer to look after the kids or pets during the big move — this can remove a whole load of stress!
Support the Neighborhood
The last year has seen many of us wind up in tough situations. If you notice that some of your neighbors are holding yard or garage sales, it’s worth checking it out and buying a little something if you can. Sometimes, any little thing helps, and once again, it’s a good opportunity to get talking to your neighbors.
Stop and Chat
Not so long ago, people seemed to know all their neighbors names — and more often than not, all their business too! These days, many of us are a little less inclined to get to know the people we share our neighborhood with, which can become pretty isolating. Having a good relationship with your neighbors doesn’t mean you need to be best buddies, but it’s nice to put a name to a face.
If you’re not overly familiar with your neighbors, why not stop and introduce yourself next time you bump into them in the street? Sometimes, this can really brighten up someone’s day, and you might be surprised at how good it makes you feel too!