When you’ve just moved into a new community, getting involved with your neighbors and neighborhood can be a great beginning to a happy life. Our communities can be pillars of support when we need them or friendly faces we’re happy to see each day. Through volunteering, joining clubs and groups, taking part in community sports activities and hosting events, you can bond with those who live around you and create a wonderful home for yourself – and others.
Here are 5 ways to get more involved in your community:
Many big cities and small towns have carnivals, holiday gift boutiques, formal dinners and similar charitable events to bring the community closer together. Attend these events and enjoy being a part of shared experiences. You’ll likely meet people who have many of the same interests as you do, which is a good way to form friendships.
- Attend or host charity events
Children often enjoy becoming members in Girl or Boy Scout-type groups, YMCA memberships, parks and recreation classes or mommy and me groups. Often, parents of kids in these programs go on to become friends for life. If you don’t have little ones, it’s still possible to coach, teach a craft, be a dance instructor and get involved in your community in other ways.
Families can get to know neighbors by becoming active in after-school programs. Even if you don’t have kids, meet new people in your neighborhood by volunteering your time to these activities.
- Get active in after-school programs
How can you help those who share your small part of the world? Perhaps tutoring, offering legal aid, mentoring, teaching a language, organizing a food bank or visiting the elderly in your community resonates with you. Children can often be persuaded to join the community volunteer force by teaching older adults all the ways of the Internet.
Volunteer in a local clinic, hospital, nature center, library or community center. Volunteerism is a superb way to meet people and contribute skills and talents to those who might need them. Not only will you probably experience a sense of accomplishment after sharing the gifts you have to offer, your neighbors will likely notice your contributions and consider you a valuable member of the community.
- Become a community volunteer
If you have a community center or other public space available, use it to form friendships while you learn something new. Sometimes taking turns meeting in members’ homes, either weekly or monthly, is a good way to break the ice with small talk or enjoy truly enriching conversation. Think about planning a series of special gatherings or ongoing drop-in events.
Learn more about the people who live near you by starting conversations within your community. This is easily done through book clubs or groups that come together to make jewelry, create art, cook and learn new languages. Ask your immediate neighbors if they know about any clubs or meetups you can join. If there aren’t any, start one yourself.
- Start conversations
While you till, water, plant and harvest, try to get to know the members of your community. Tell stories of where you came from and ask others about their backgrounds. If you have kids, get them involved with a beginner’s food scrap garden and encourage neighbors to bring their children to participate too.
Join a community garden in your neighborhood, and if you don’t have one, start one. Growing organic produce on a shared plot is a great way to connect with people near you. It also helps everyone involved develop a deeper understanding of the importance of keeping the air, water and ground clean and safe in a community.
- Join a community garden
The good thing about getting involved in your new community is that if there aren’t gardens, clubs, organized activities, volunteer opportunities or other programs in place for you to meet people, you can always be the facilitator of these types of gatherings. Your new neighbors will probably be glad you took the initiative to provide ways to connect.
Moving to a new neighborhood is never easy. Why not show a warm welcome by giving a welcome basket to your new neighbors? As an established ambassador of your block, now’s your opportunity to bring over a few little gifts for neighbors to make them more comfortable in their new home.
Fruits, vegetables and flowers
If you’re a gardener, consider sharing the bounty. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always a big hit. They may even inspire some fun, future garden rivalry. Feeling inspired? Pack your treasures into a box with a few seed packets that easily grow outdoors, a tool for weeding and a nice pair of gardening gloves.
Snacks and a drink
Who doesn’t love treats? Although it used to be the tradition to bring by a bottle of wine for new neighbors, be cognizant of the fact that some may prefer not to drink alcoholic beverages. Instead, bring over a bottle of sparkling water and fruit juice to make a spritzer. To accompany the refreshers, pack a small fruit basket and chocolates.
If you really want to impress your new neighbors, bring them baked goods straight out of the oven. Make sure to provide a full list of ingredients in case your neighbors have allergies. You may want to make options that are free of nut, dairy and eggs.
A gift card to a great local restaurant
Your new neighbors may not feel up to preparing a meal. After all, their kitchen may still be filled with boxes! Offering a gift card to your favorite local restaurant is a nice gesture that will also prevent your neighbors’ stomachs from rumbling. Fortunately, gift cards can be purchased in a wide range of amounts to avoid worrying about overspending. A typical amount for new neighbors is anywhere between $20 to $50. Try to choose a restaurant with a lovely view and a wide variety of menu items to suit all dietary needs.
Host a small gathering
Plan a meet and greet as a gift for neighbors. It’ll give you an excuse to have a party and will help your new friends acclimate to the neighborhood. You don’t need to plan anything fancy. A small backyard BBQ is always fun. You can move the party indoors during the cooler months. Have plenty of snacks on hand, including an assortment of finger foods. This is also an opportunity to ask everyone in the neighborhood to contribute. Rather than prepare all of the food yourself, plan a potluck and have people bring their favorite dishes.
A touch of green
Even neighbors who don’t have green thumbs will appreciate a nice plant. Stick with a plant that doesn’t require a lot of care. Spider plants, devil’s ivy, philodendrons and calla lilies are safe bets. Instead of a houseplant, put together a small herb garden as a gift for neighbors. Mint, basil and thyme come in starter sizes. Get creative with the containers you choose. Whether you give your neighbors a houseplant or a selection of herbs, just make sure to provide instructions on how to care for their new plant.
After giving your neighbors a small gift, ask if there are any ways you can help them get settled in and just generally make yourself useful.
There will be plenty at the New London Food Truck Festival on Sunday, 9/15/2019 on the Town Green! It starts at noon and ends at 4pm and is hosted by the New London Rotary Club in conjunction with the New London Recreation Department. It will be a great day to sample all kinds of delicious morsels and enjoy great music by Rusted Chrome of Sunapee, NH. Proceeds will be used by the rotary's charitable foundation for scholarships to area students and to promote literacy. Admission is $8/Adults; $5/children, free for ages 3 and under. Tickets available from New London Rotary Club members, online at www.nl-nh.com/rec and at the gate. Get out and enjoy the day!
Don't forget about Mom this Sunday! Stop by Spring Ledge Farm for some ideas.
They have all sorts of plants for mom, from fruit trees and blueberry bushes to hanging baskets, geraniums, tropical mandevilla, herbs, perennials and flowering shrubs.
They offer kid-sized (& kid-priced) pots of basil, marigolds and alyssum. We have beautiful hanging baskets grown using organic soils and beneficial microbes and good bugs. They even add a long term organic fertilizer to the hanging baskets for a season-long food source. They've created combinations of ceramic pots and flowering annuals that look great and will last all season.
Hardy Japanese maples, forsythia, azaleas and rhododendrons are in stock and looking great. Planting one of these for mom results in a lasting memory and something to enjoy for years. Spring Ledge has bags of compost and local earthworm castings to add nutrition and soil health to the planting.
Or let mom choose exactly what she wants with a gift card to Spring Ledge - available in any denomination.
And the best part of shopping at Spring Ledge Farm? Their great staff to help you choose from all the available plants and pots. They are open Mon-Sat 9-6 & Sunday 9-4. Stop in early to beat the rain!
Take a walk around New London and you're apt to see the "Pumpkin People" sprouting up all over the town! We're all having a little fun and friendly competition. The Town's Rec. Department will be judging the new pumpkins in town on October 25. The contest is open to all residents, businesses and organizations. Click here for more information. Have fun making your people! Meet our new family - another satisfied buyer who bought from "The Best Team in Town"!
Friday Nov. 7th 12-5:30; Saturday Nov. 8th 10-1; Friday Nov. 14th 12-5:30; Saturday Nov. 15th 10-1; and starting Monday, Nov. 17th, they will be back to full time, seven-days-a-week of farm fresh goods and natural holiday decorations through Christmas! Stop by in the morning for their homemade cider donuts (beyond yummy!).
This year, Spring Ledge is also offering free range turkeys from Misty Knoll in Vermont. Place your order and you can pick up your turkey on the 24th or 25th of November. Price is $5/pound.
Spring Ledge Farm is located at 37 Main Street, New London, NH.
The Lake Sunapee VNA & Hospice is offering flu clinics to the public. Some insurance companies are billed, or the cost is $25. Please bring your insurance card. Listed below are the upcoming dates and locations. Stay healthy!
Come out to "Stuff the Cruiser" this Saturday, July 5th outside of Hannaford's Supermarket in New London, NH. Stuff the New London Police Department's cruiser with food to benefit the KLS Community Food Pantry. You can drop off a donation or purchase something at Hannaford's. Everyone donating will receive a raffle ticket toward winning some great prizes. The cruiser will be there from 10am-4pm. Come on down and support a good cause!
The 2014 New Hampshire Water and Watershed Conference will be held on Friday, March 21, 2014 at Plymouth State University. This year, the theme is Sustainability of New Hampshire’s Water Resources. Click here to find out the details.