Community spirit isn’t cultivated overnight. In fact, spirit constantly changes. New residents, management, policies and other forms of change can either negatively or positively affect your community.
Living in a place with negative energy, or in a place where you don’t know your neighbors well, can also feel isolating. That’s why it’s important to foster positive community spirit to keep you and your neighbors feeling happy and content.
So how can you help build spirit? By finding fun ways to bond with your neighbors! Here are seven ways you can build spirit in your community.
1. Host Parties
Parties are a great way to get to know new people in a relaxed and fun setting. Make it a potluck to get everyone involved in making the party a success, or make it themed to add an extra element of excitement to your event.
Need help coming up with ideas? Try holding an ice cream social, game night or barbecue party. Tailor your party to your and your neighbor’s interests. For example, if your neighbors like watching football, host a barbecue at your place beforehand and gather everyone to watch the game together.
2. Take Care of Your Property
Start doing projects to make your home feel more “homey.” Putting a little extra effort into the house’s exterior appearance can not only make your house a better place to live, but might also inspire your neighbors to do the same. A pretty neighborhood is a happy neighborhood!
Make improvements that you feel invested in seeing through. If you like gardening, start weeding and planting flowerbeds in your front lawn. Explore larger projects as well; if you’ve always wanted to touch up your outdoor furniture with a fresh coat of spray paint, take the opportunity! Giving your house a more personal touch will increase your spirits about your own home.
3. Buy Locally
Supporting your community goes beyond your own neighborhood. Your town thrives when residents buy and contribute to the local economy. Grocery shopping at the farmers’ market, cutting your hair at a local salon and buying furniture made by the mom and pop shop down the street are all great ways to start. In fact, according to a Chicago study, when consumers buy local, significantly more of that money stays in the community. This is a great way to support your community and help aid in each other’s successes.
4. Start a Club
If you’re interested in a specific hobby, it’s likely that someone who lives near you will enjoy that hobby, too. Start bonding with your neighbors by finding mutual interests and starting a club or organization related to those interests.
What do you like to do? If you like reading, start a book club that meets every month. Interested in keeping your neighborhood safe? Start a neighborhood watch program. Like fishing? Get a group together and go out to a nearby lake.
The best way to get people excited for your new club is by getting the word out. Try putting out a community newsletter to keep everyone in the know about upcoming events. Letting your neighbors know about all the exciting upcoming events will encourage more involvement.
If you’re friends with your neighbors on any social media sites, post about your events there. Better yet, start a Facebook group and add people from the community to the group. There, you can share all of your events and keep people interested in what’s going on around the neighborhood.
5. Sharing is Caring
Your neighbors can be a great help to you when you need it. Whether you ran out of eggs when you’re cooking breakfast or have a broken printer and need a hard copy for a meeting that starts in thirty minutes, just head next door and ask your neighbor. However, not everyone has these kinds of relationship. So how do get there?
Start by trading favors. If you need someone to take care of your cat while you’re on vacation, offer to water their plants and pick up mail when they go away. If they need a babysitter for a few hours one night, offer your assistance in exchange for a dinner date in the future. Helping your fellow neighbors will make them feel close to you and, in return, make them feel safe and happy in their home.
6. Utilize Your Space
If you live in a community that offers amenities, these can be great spaces to host lifestyle programs that are appealing to residents. If your neighborhood has a gym space, host weekly classes or start a fitness club. You can use a pool or a similar space to host pool parties or start a water volleyball tournament. And, if you have a game or billiards room, you can institute game nights. Any space, indoor or outdoor, can be a great place to get everyone together to have fun. Just make sure to send out invites and keep everyone in the loop about any upcoming events.
7. Join A Committee
If you’re passionate about improving your community, implement a committee where the main goal is developing and fostering culture among residents. If you live in a condominium or apartment complex, consider becoming a member of the homeowners’ association where you can work with other like-minded individuals to make your neighborhood a great place to live.
When residents take pride in their community, they tend to form an unbreakable bond with their neighbors and a spirit that can’t be easily shaken. Follow these steps and your community will be well on its way.