It takes a village…or sometimes just a cul-de-sac

On Day 4 of the #12daysforgood extravaganza with House of Friendship I shared the gift of community with my neighbours. But not in an “I actually did anything for my neighbours” kind of way, but in a “we as neighbours did something for our community” kind of way!


After chatting with Nancy from Family and Children’s Services today I learned there was one family left in the Adopt-a-Family program to bring Christmas presents to a low-income family with a deadline of dropping off wrapped presents by tomorrow. I knew I could not take this on by myself as it would cost 225$ to cover the family of three that was in need.


So in thinking “community” I decided to get all of my amazing neighbours in on the plan! So I popped by the HoF office to grab some #12daysforgood pins, loaded up on candy canes (a little bribery never hurt) and I began to knock on neighbours doors to gather as much money as I could to buy our adopted family’s Christmas presents!


You would think that little adventure could ensue….but between me falling on my tush and throwing #12daysforgood pins in every which direction, and a number of strange events (like neighbours hiding when I knocked even though I could totally tell they were home….) I was able to get 104$ before 5pm! I am going to do a second round tonight for all of those folks who weren’t home from work/school/life yet. With 7 houses still to hit I am sure we will get mighty close to our target!


Now you may be thinking…what an odd thing to do when you are supposed to be helping your neighbours. But for me it was really neat to finally MEET all of my neighbours! I have lived on this street for 5 years, and likely have only met half of my neighbours even once. So the most exciting part for me beyond, buying presents, having a wrapping paper party tonight, and making Christmas special for one family, I was able to build my own community and create a new sense of familiarity on my good old cul-de-sac.

And I will top it off by taking some fabulous pictures of the beautiful gifts they helped to buy and send them out in christmas cards to all of my wonderful neighbours who donated and helped to sponsor a family with me. Thank you to all of you cool cul-de-sac dwellers! You sure made my day!


1 Comment

  1. This is an awesome story! It’s great that your neighbours came together like that–such a creative way to meet the people you live next door to.

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“There are many words to describe Natalie Brown – passionate, energetic, skilled, good-natured, committed, accountable – but when I think of my experience working with Natalie as we developed the Center for Community Research, Learning and Action at Wilfrid Laurier University, one word stands out: integrity. Natalie is of “sound construction”. She approaches community practice with honesty, solid principles, and a genuineness that is unmatched. She works hard, cares deeply about the work and she values relationships above all else. I could always count on her to get things done right and with care. I certainly wish there were two of Natalie so I could leave one in Kitchener-Waterloo and bring one to work with me at my new home at the University of Miami. She’s a fantastic community researcher and action partner and I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to replace her.”
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