If you have the gift of encouragement, this will be easy for you! Be the neighbor who brings out the best in others.

Keep an eye on your neighbors – to see what they’re doing well. Collect or create a variety of simple note cards. Tell the gardener how great his or her flowers look. The neighbor who faithfully walks his or her dog – and picks up after it – deserves a “thanks.” Notice when neighbors help others, go out of their way to be friendly, or pick up trash. Look for grown-ups as well as children, grandparents, and teenagers, too. 

Take two minutes to write a note and send or deliver it. It’ll feel good to know you live in such a great neighborhood. Who knows how many blessings you’ll plant, water, and even reap!

Instant Intentions

Keep a stash of note cards in your car or by your front window. When you see something great happening, write it down right away. If you don’t know someone’s name or address, just hand it to him or her or leave the note in the person’s door or under the windshield wiper of his or her car. It’ll be a great way to introduce yourself. 

-          From the book, Field Guide to Neighborhood Outreach by Group Publishing, 2007.

Note: After all the snow we’ve had this winter, perhaps someone on your block deserves a note of appreciation for snow blowing their neighbors’ sidewalks or the driveway of someone with a disability or who makes do with a shovel. Or perhaps they have great stamina and wield a shovel on their neighbors’ behalf! In addition to the note, you could bring the person a potted plant for their summer garden or windowsill, or bake them a platter of cookies. – Lisa Jaeger