Whether you’ve lived in your neighborhood for years or still haven’t made introductions to your new community, every day is a great day to be a good neighbor! Being a positive part of your neighborhood is one of the best ways you can help make the world a better place. In this spirit, President Jimmy Carter named a day in late September as the official “Good Neighbor Day” back in 1978, and it’s been going strong ever since. This year, Good Neighbor Day falls on September 28th, and this is the perfect opportunity to help build friendships with new neighbors, spread kindness and respect through your community, and put smiles on faces!

Here are a few ways you can celebrate Good Neighbor Day with acts of kindness:

  • When it comes to being a good neighbor, nobody set a better example than Pittsburgh legend and neighbor-to-everyone: Mr. Rogers. One of his recurring messages was to be a helper. “All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That’s one of the things that connects us as neighbors—in our own way, each one of us is a giver and a receiver.” One great way to be a good neighbor is to lend them a helping hand. Autumn begins on September 22nd, which means lots of leaves! Offer to help a neighbor with their raking. If you have kids, get them involved too- many hands makes light work! You’ll also be teaching them the value of community and kindness.
  • It can be easy to overlook members of your community that might not even live in the neighborhood. Mail carriers are the unsung heroes of the service industry –making sure you get your mail no matter the weather. The same applies to the UPS and FedEx drivers too, and even the UberEats driver who just brought you a meal from your favorite restaurant. Make their day with a heartfelt thank you card- and maybe even include a gift card to a local business. Not only will you be making the driver’s day, but you’ll also be supporting a local business!
  • When’s the last time you paid it forward? A great way to make somebody’s day is to pay for the person behind you in line at your local coffee shop or when you’re swinging through a drive through. Don’t forget the barista and servers- tips are another excellent way to make the community know they’re appreciated.
  • A beautiful neighborhood is a happy neighborhood. Being a good neighbor can be as simple as stopping to pick up some trash on the side of the street. The next time you go for a walk, bring along a bag and this homemade trash spear to collect any litter you see on the way.
  • If you’ve seen calls for donations in your neighborhood newsletter, online group, or even in a shopping center, now’s the time to help out! Donations for community projects like pools, gardens, and recreation centers and parks are a great way to help make your neighborhood a better- and happier- place. Be sure to read all about the cause before making a donation- sometimes volunteering your time may be just as beneficial as a cash donation.

Be the change you want to see in the world by starting in the comfort of your own neighborhood. From making those first introductions after moving in, to hosting a community block party where everyone’s invited, there are countless ways you can show kindness to those around you and help build a better place to live. Good luck, and happy Good Neighbor Day!