5 Ways to meet new neighbors

Moving in to a new town or neighborhood has the potential to be a little scary. Being that “new kid on the block” can be uncomfortable and a little daunting. As an established neighbor, meeting and connecting with new residents can help ease their stress and make them feel more comfortable in their new neighborhood. Here are five ways to be a friendly face to your new neighbors.

Knock, Knock! Who’s there?

welcome mat

Just go over, knock on your neighbor’s door and introduce yourself! This may seem like a thing of the past, but it’s a simple activity. Just sharing your name and phone number will immediately break down the biggest barrier. Speaking of barriers, if you’re right next door, let them know you’ll be sharing a fence with them now and let them know who some of the other neighbors are. Introductions can go a long way and will make a good impression on your new neighbors.

bring a plate of muffins

Sweet talk them

If simply knocking on their door and introducing yourself sounds weird on its own, bring a basket of cookies or a plate of muffins. This neighborly gesture will definitely leave a lasting impression on your neighbors. And besides, who doesn’t love sweets? Simple gestures like this go a long way in making someone’s day!

Be the cool parent

children playing in the leavesIf you have children and you notice your new neighbors do too, then this can be a huge way to break the ice. Invite them over for a play date or tell them about all the local parks in Shawnee where they can play. If they go to the same school as your kids, you can even suggest carpooling at some time in the future after they’ve settled in and feel comfortable in their new surroundings. Or if they’re bus riders, maybe just show them the closest bus stop.

Spend time outside

taking the dog for a walkGet outside when the weather’s nice! You’re never going to meet anyone if you stay in your house all day. This can be going for a walk and saying hi to everyone you pass, watching your kids play in the front yard, doing some yard work, or just enjoying a beverage of choice in the front of your house. These interactions will also come off a lot more natural and not forced if you’re too uncomfortable knocking on a neighbor’s door. All it takes is a smile and a wave to get the relationship started!

Offer a helping hand

help neighbor rake leaves

People love people who help them. If you see a neighbor bringing in groceries, offer to help them. If you’re raking leaves, shoveling snow, or mowing your lawn, offer to help them with theirs. After the trash has been picked up and you’re rolling your “big blue” back to the house, go over and get your neighbors. Random acts of kindness make great first impressions on your new neighbors.


Community Renewal of Pottawatomie County (Oklahoma) logoBonus: Introduce your new neighbor to Community Renewal

Community Renewal of Pottawatomie County is reversing relational disintegration and reconstruct the foundation of the Shawnee community by helping neighbors restore community through intentional relationships. This results in powerfully renewed communities. With our collective capacity to care for each other as our central tenet, Community Renewal has initiated a three-tiered structure to grow safe and caring communities:

Community Renewal We Care Team

We Care Team

This initiative brings together everyone to help generate and support specific, intentional acts of caring. We’ve created a network of caring people connected for the purpose of making caring visible in a community. Community Renewal has more than 3,000 members of the We Care Team!
Community Renewal Block Leaders

Block Leaders

Volunteers are trained to reach out to their neighbors, helping restore relational foundations on the block where they live. They may host block parties, take meals to a sick neighbor, help find a lost pet, share garden produce, mow a yard or just offer a sympathetic ear. Through intentional acts of caring, block leaders are changing their communities one neighbor at a time. There are more than 130 trained Block Leaders in Pottawatomie County bringing neighbors together!
Community Renewal Friendship House

Friendship House

Friendship houses are built in underserved neighborhoods and contain large community rooms where after-school, GED, adult literacy and job training programs take place. A trained Community Renewal staff member and family live in this house and work to rebuild the caring infrastructure of the neighborhood through trusted relationships with local children, youth and adults.
Community Renewal volunteer Steve ReeseCommunity Renewal shows us how to be more intentional with the people who live life around us. Learning and sharing with this growing tribe of volunteers makes me feel more invested in my neighborhood, and in turn, my whole community.