If you’re considering a move, you may be worried about replacing the comfort and support of family and friends you’ll leave behind. Or maybe you’ve completed a move and would like to meet more of your neighbors.
We’ll explore 10 ways you can utilize technology to foster in-person connections with your neighbors, make friends and get engaged in your local community.
1. Join Your Neighborhood’s Social Network a growing number of neighborhoods are utilizing private social networks like U.S.-based Nextdoor and Canadian- based GoNeighbour. These platforms are a great way to share neighborhood news, but don’t just use them to connect virtually. Extend an invitation to your neighbors to attend a block party or a park playdate for families.
2. Lend A Hand Volunteering your time and talents is a great way to meet people who share a similar mission. Search for volunteer opportunities you’re passionate about at VolunteerMatch.
3. Attend A Place Of Worship Joining a local place of worship is a good way to meet people who share your beliefs and values. There are a variety of on-line resources available to help you find a match in your area:
• Church Finder for Christian Churches
• MavenSearch for Jewish Synagogues
• Salatomati for Islamic Mosques
• All Hindu Temples for Hindu Temples
• Buddha Net for Buddhist Temples
4. Find An Interest Group Whatever your favorite hobby or pastime, you’re guaranteed to meet people who share your interests when you join an interest group! The website Meetup.com has over 32 million members in 288,000 groups in 182 countries. You can search for a group that appeals to you … from book clubs to running groups to professional networking, they have it all.
5. Take A Class Develop a skill while meeting people who share your interests and passion for learning. Most community colleges offer inexpensive classes on a variety of topics. To search for one in your area, visit the American Association of Community Colleges website or Schools In Canada.com.
6. Attend An Event Search for a live event in your area at Eventbrite.com. Be strategic about the type of event you choose to attend. For example, it may be harder to meet people at a large festival or concert. A retreat or a networking event could offer more opportunities for one-on-one interaction.
7. Share Your Stuff “Sharing communities” facilitate the free exchange of goods among neighbors to reduce consumption and keep usable items out of landfills. Nonprofit groups like The Freecycle Network and Little Free Library are made up of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighborhoods.
8. Support A Community Garden Not only do community gardens beautify a neighborhood, they also foster community, conserve resources and reduce family food budgets. Visit the American Community Gardening Association website to search for a community garden in your neighborhood.
9. Carpool With A Coworker Carpooling presents an opportunity to form a bond with co-workers and/or neighbors during your daily commute. A new wave of carpooling websites and apps aim to revolutionize the way we commute by making it easier and more convenient to carpool. Kangaride Local, Scoop and Waze Carpool are just a few examples. Check to see if any of these are available in your local area.
10. Participate In World Neighbors Day The organizers behind World Neighbors Day promote it as “an invitation to share a moment with your neighbors, to get to know each other better and develop a real sense of community.” Participants are encouraged to organize gatherings with their neighbors to build relationships that “form the fabric of our communities.” Whatever you do, be sure to make your gathering inclusive and welcoming to all.