Platforms And Activities
Facebook is our Platform
Is Being Neighborly (BeNe) a Facebook group? Yes and no! We consider the BeNe Facebook group to be a platform or springboard from which everything happens. Much of what we do results in face to face connections between neighbors, and the Facebook group holds it all together while inviting others into the village over time.
So, yes, everyone in Being Neighborly is part of their city’s Facebook group. But, if our neighborly connections stopped there, we would be yet another a community bulletin board type Facebook group. We are much more. Our BeNe Facebook groups can be compared to neighbors talking over the fence or sharing moments together on the front porch swing.
Being Neighborly Activity Examples
Here are some examples of what happens on our virtual front porch in our BeNe: Lake Stevens group
BeNe Bags – Neighbors use donated or upcycled fabric to make bags to support the food bank.
Produce Festival - Our Produce Festival is our version of a farmer’s market but better. It’s better because everything is provided by neighbors and given freely to neighbors. Neighbors bring produce, seeds or veggie starts, perennials, bushes, bulbs, berry plants, garden tools no longer needed. We also bring anything that you "produce" like handmade soap, sourdough starter, kombucha scobies, etc.
Garden Share - Neighbors share garden space and garden tools / equipment. In addition to garden plots and a tool shed, Garden Share includes a community worm bin, greenhouse, herb garden, berry garden and compost bins, Using our BeNe owned 3D printer we also have built a shared low cost greenhouse.
Mealtrains – When a neighbor is under the weather or in need of extra support, folks jump in to offer meals for the family as needed.
Kindness Ambassadors – A team of neighbors keeps our focus on kindness high with a steady stream of activities and challenges
Food Bank Collection Box Locations – Not only are we able to actively support the food bank by placing donation collection boxes throughout the community, we bring awareness to Being Neighborly too!
Birthday greetings – One of our neighbors keeps a record of folks’ birthdays and posts birthday greetings weekly. This reminds everyone that we care about our neighbors!
NAK Attack – NAK = Neighborly Acts of Kindness. We have a separate group called the NAKtivist Think Tank where everyone works together to surprise people with anonymous NAK gift baskets left on their porch! Two neighbors maintain a spreadsheet to help us remember likes and dislikes for each person.
Crocheted Mats for the Homeless – After cutting upcycled plastic bags into strips called “plarn”, the mats are crocheted. Not only are we providing for our less fortunate neighbors, we are also reducing the number of bags that end up in the landfill.
Resource List – One of our neighbors maintains information about many types of resources so that we have easy access to good and useful resource information.
Repair Café - Repair Cafés are all about repairing things together so skills can be passed along. We have several neighbors who have graciously offered to bring their tools and skills so they can help folks make needed repairs on clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, et cetera.
Creativity Café – Creativity Cafes allow neighbors to share their talents and create a fun evening for the whole family by hosting an activity. There is an unlimited range of activities that can be shared.
Lend A Lift – Neighbors use our Lend a Lift site to offer and request rides.
Community Coat Rack Project – People in the community can give or take coats that are on our Community Coat Rack.
Recycling – There are several programs that have been implements that recycle items not typically recycled. Those include markers, energy bar wrappers, toothpaste tubes and more.
LS Rocks – In collaboration with our local painted rocks group, neighbors paint and hide rocks around the community. It is great fun to see the joy experienced by the person finding the rocks.
“How To” – Since people have varying skill levels with technology, one of our neighbors has produced a series of posts that explain how to navigate our Facebook platform.
What is Being Neighborly?
We get acquainted with each other. Every day there is an amusing little “just for fun” question which asks about things like favorite foods, hobbies, collections, and even about dream jobs and childhood experiences. People can learn more and more about each other over time. There are also Featured Neighbor posts that introduce the neighbor a bit more and explain about their ideas for things we could do as a community. Many of our programs and projects have come as a result of these face to face Featured Neighbor visits.
Neighbors ask each other for advice, referrals and opinions. Folks share about community issues, job opportunities, local events or just questions that they have. As common interests are identified, separate chatrooms are set up for those who want to have more in-depth conversations with those who share interests. Everyone is encouraged to ask for and offer help as needed.
Posts about our Neighborly Acts of Kindness (NAK), anonymous, surprise gift giving, are enjoyed by all! Our NAK Attacks are planned and executed by anyone in the group, for anyone in the group. They are meant to bring joy to the person and to the community. This shared joy enhances connectedness.
Project and program ideas are born from the people and nurtured by the whole community on the feed. As the idea grows, the whole community can watch and / or participate. This shared ownership of the idea development is important.
Decisions are made by the whole community about things related to our different one-time events, ongoing programs and shared resources.