If you’re considering a move, you may be worried about replacing the comfort and support of family and friends you’ll leave behind. Or maybe you’ve completed a move and would like to meet more of your neighbors. We’ll explore 10 ways you can utilize technology to foster in-person connections with your neighbors, make friends and get engaged in your local community.
- Join Your Neighborhood’s Social Network
A growing number of neighborhoods are utilizing private
social networks like U.S.-based Nextdoor and Canadianbased
GoNeighbour. These platforms are a great way to
share neighborhood news, but don’t just use them to
connect virtually. Extend an invitation to your neighbors to
attend a block party or a park playdate for families.
- Lend A Hand
Volunteering your time and talents is a great way to meet
people who share a similar mission. Search for volunteer
opportunities you’re passionate about at VolunteerMatch.
- Attend A Place Of Worship
Joining a local place of worship is a good way to meet
people who share your beliefs and values. There are a
variety of on-line resources available to help you find a
match in your area.
- Find An Interest Group
Whatever your favorite hobby or pastime, you’re guaranteed
to meet people who share your interests when you join an
interest group! The website Meetup.com has over 32 million
members in 288,000 groups in 182 countries. You can
search for a group that appeals to you … from book clubs to
running groups to professional networking, they have it all.
- Take A Class
Develop a skill while meeting people who share your
interests and passion for learning. Most community
colleges offer inexpensive classes on a variety of topics. To
search for one in your area, visit the American Association
of Community Colleges website or Schools In Canada.com.
- Attend An Event
Search for a live event in your area at Eventbrite –
eventbrite.com. Be strategic about the type of event you
choose to attend. For example, it may be harder to meet
people at a large festival or concert. A retreat or a
networking event could offer more opportunities for
- Share Your Stuff
“Sharing communities” facilitate the free exchange of goods
among neighbors to reduce consumption and keep usable
items out of landfills. Nonprofit groups like The Freecycle
Network – freecycle.org and Little Free Library –
littlefreelibrary.org are made up of people who are
giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and
- Support A Community Garden
Not only do community gardens beautify a neighborhood,
they also foster community, conserve resources and
reduce family food budgets. Visit the American Community
Gardening Association website to search for a community
garden in your neighborhood.
- Carpool With A Coworker
Carpooling presents an opportunity to form a bond with coworkers
and/or neighbors during your daily commute. A new
wave of carpooling websites and apps aim to revolutionize the
way we commute by making it easier and more convenient
to carpool. Kangaride Local – local.kangaride.com, Scoop –
takescoop.com and Waze Carpool – waze.com/carpool are
just a few examples. Check to see if any of these are available
in your local area.
- Participate In World Neighbors Day
The organizers behind World Neighbors Day promote it
as “an invitation to share a moment with your neighbors,
to get to know each other better and develop a real sense
of community.” Participants are encouraged to organize
gatherings with their neighbors to build relationships that
“form the fabric of our communities.” Whatever you do, be
sure to make your gathering inclusive and welcoming to all.
Be A Good Neighbor As with anything in life, you will get out what you put in. It can take time to build lasting and meaningful friendships with your neighbors, but the effort you make is likely to pay off tenfold. The tried-and-true way to make friends, grow your support system and get engaged in your community? Be a good neighbor yourself.
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