How to participate in Neighbor Appreciation Day

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Saturday, February 9, 2013, is Seattle’s 19th annual celebration of Neighbor Appreciation Day.

Neighbor Appreciation Day began in 1995 when Phinney Ridge activist Judith Wood suggested that the City designate “a special day to celebrate the goodness in those around us and to reach out and strengthen our bonds to each other.”

Then-Mayor Norm Rice proclaimed the Saturday before Valentine’s Day as Neighbor Appreciation Day. Every year since, the celebrations of the day have gotten bigger and more inventive.

Neighbors, community organizations and neighborhood groups across the city organize block parties, open houses, and work parties. Community centers and Seattle Fire Department stations have special events as well.

This is the day when we reach out to those who live or work around us. We say “Thanks,” or, “Glad to meet you.” Here are just a few of the ways neighbors can organize service projects, events, or celebrations for Neighbor Appreciation Day.

1.)   Find an event in your neighborhood on the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) calendar. Here are some examples:

  • Have a neighborhood clean-up  
  • Clean up a nearby park: Contact Seattle Parks and Recreation for information at (206) 684-8028 or email ParksVolunteer@Seattle.Gov
  • Hold a neighborhood food or clothing drive
  • Have a block party
  • Have a book exchange
  • Hold a ‘Stencil a Storm Drain’ party.  Click here for more information.
  • Stop by your local Fire station and meet the crew.

2.)   Share a story about a great neighbor. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Did you have a great experience with your neighbor?
  • Why is your neighborhood a special place to live?
  • How did you meet your neighbor?

3.)   Plan an event of your own. Visit this site for a list of ideas for events and ways to publicize them. You can also post your event to the DON website.

4.)   Share photos on the Neighbor Appreciation Day Flickr site.

Finally, you can send an e-card to a neighbor based on one of the images in this blog, which were created by student artists in Seattle Schools.

I’m planning to co-host a clean-up event along the Waterfront. Details are still taking shape, but check the Facebook event page for information.