By Melanie Kreifels

You may have seen the YouTube videos of Italian neighbors in isolated quarantine making fantastic music with one another from their balconies.  They created a genuine sense of hope and togetherness while being locked down at their homes. 

In the 1970’s Good Neighbor Day was first proposed by Becky Mattson of Lakeside, MT, to encourage neighbors to be good to each other. In 1978, then-President Jimmy Carter proclaimed of National Good Neighbor Day. In 2004, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to celebrate National Good Neighbor Day. 

On a day designed to celebrate the importance of being a good neighbor, being a good neighbor has some really incredible benefits:

1. Make a new friend.

Take some groceries to an elderly neighbor. Mow a neighbor’s yard. Offer to get their mail for them while they’re out of town. Take a hot meal to a family that has experienced the loss of a loved one.

2. Be Community Minded.

Neighborhoods can build a reputation for being friendly, which can be an attractive factor for home buyers! There are still ways to foster community during COVID by having socially-distanced BBQs or setting up chairs spaced out in your driveway or inside your garage. Invite a few neighbors over for an evening to connect and catch up.

3. Upkeep your property.

Not only does this add value to your home, but it can also benefit your neighbor.  The opposite is also true, it’s a more significant challenge if your neighbor doesn’t keep their lawn mowed and trash picked up.

There is tremendous value when we look out for others. As 2020 continues to be a year marred with difficulty, take a moment to consider how you can be a good neighbor. In a world where everyone is out for themselves, be unique as someone who others can depend on.  Be the change by simply caring for those around you. 

Melanie Kreifels, MA, LCPC, is co-publisher of Smart Women Smart Money Magazine and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.