March 1, 2016: How you can get involved
We have over 50 “Block Connectors” in our neighbourhood. They have been asked to help build stronger links between their neighbours on their blocks and with the neighbourhood as a whole. Highlands blocks are starting to double up block connectors and Bellevue and Virginia Park are currently welcoming their first connectors as the “neighbourhood conversation” gets under way.
We have learned that being a “Block Connector” is a very adventurous role!
And as with any adventure there is lots of excitement, risk, and reward.
There are feelings of excitement as the Block Connector imagines getting to know some of the wonderful human beings that live only steps away from them; people with stories, gifts, quirks, and connections. The excitement comes from imagining an even more neighbourly community with residents looking out for and enjoying one another.
The risk is felt after you have said “yes” to the role of Block Connector and you begin to think of your next steps. Getting up from the TV and heading out to your neighbours whom you embarrassingly feel like you should have met years before. This can put a knot in your stomach. What if the neighbour doesn’t want to meet you or get connected?! What if it’s just awkward because you don’t really know why we are doing this and you can’t remember what to say? What if they are bad guys? You can be certain there are dogs that storm the front door at a knock, and neighbours who won’t open the door wide enough to hand over a cup of sugar. Rejection will be real!
But alas, the reward as you engage your friendly, happy to meet you, neighbour. So many neighbours have responded with “Thank you for dropping by, I should have come your way and introduced myself”. It is enriching to feel the warmth of neighbourliness and to hear neighbours value neighbours and want more local relationship. As one child said, “I wish we could be neighbourly like on Halloween all year round.”
Our block Connectors tell so many stories of surprising finds behind doors they have walked by for years. But perhaps the most significant reward for the Block Connector has been seeing more and better connections on their blocks and in the neighbourhood as a whole.
If you are up to the adventure, download our questionaire to see how easy it is. It will give you the initial foray into more neighbourly connections and provides a good idea of what’s involved.
If you have any questions or would like to sign up to become a Block Connector on your block, contact:
Abundant Communities QuestionaireVirginia Park, Greg Brandenbarg: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bellevue, Elizabeth Metcalf: email@example.com
Highlands, Howard Lawrence Howardlawrence@shaw.ca