In many countries people know their neighbors and speak to them often. In the United States, this is less common. When you are new to the U.S., this can be difficult and confusing. It is possible to meet your neighbors, but you must be brave and outgoing (starting conversations with many people/not shy). If you are shy or nervous about starting conversations, you can still meet your neighbors if you have a little help from a friend.
Here are some ideas for getting all your neighbors together. They require some organizing skills and some advertising, but they can be very simple.
Donation Drive – A donation is something that someone gives. A drive, in this case, is an event where you try to get a lot of something. If you want to get money for a charity, people can donate money during your event. If you want to collect food for the Raleigh Rescue Mission or the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, people can give food during your event. A donation drive is always an opportunity to help a person or charity. You could collect blankets or coats for homeless people in the winter. You could ask for book or toy donations for a preschool. People could donate crayons, pencils, and glue to a school. Think of a charity that is important to you. What do they need? You can organize a donation drive in your neighborhood! And when your neighbors bring their donations to you, you can meet them!
Fundraising Event – A fundraising event is like a donation drive, but it is only for getting money (not things). Again, think about a charity or group that needs money. Invite your neighbors to a fundraising party, and when they arrive, they can donate money. They can pay to attend the party, eat food, or play games. Use your imagination! Just make sure all the money really goes to the charity.
Block Party – A block party is just a party for your neighborhood. Maybe it’s one block, maybe more. A lot of people will go to this kind of party, but they don’t want to organize and plan it. If you do the work, you can meet many of your neighbors. For a truly American party, make it a potluck. That means everyone brings food to share. You can also plan activities, games, and contests for adults, children, and families! This website has several fun ideas to help you get started!
Holiday Event – You don’t need a special reason to have a block party, but if you want a reason, you can have a holiday party! Your American neighbors might be more comfortable attending a party for an American holiday. However, when you know your neighbors better, you can introduce them to your culture by hosting a party for a non-American holiday.
Talk to your teacher, your classmates, your family, and your friends about your ideas for a neighborhood event.
- Which kind of event would you most enjoy?
- Do you like planning events?
- Who could help you plan your event?
- Work with 2-3 classmates to plan an event for your neighborhood. What kind of event will you have? What will you need to do? How will you invite people? Where will you have your event?