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Posted in Your Community | May 2013

Be a community builder

creating community
Many people feel an almost instinctive need to be part of a group—to belong to some sort of a community where there’s support, familiarity and a feeling of shared responsibility for the happiness and well-being of others. However, circumstances can sometimes make us feel like we’re on the outside looking in, especially if we’re newly single, missing a partner, or have moved to a new and unfamiliar city or neighborhood.

Happily there are simple, small ways to make yourself feel more a part of any community you’re in—and to make it warm and welcoming for others too.

  • Step outside and say hello! Turn off your TV, put down your electronic devices and go meet your neighbors in person. Or perhaps take an after dinner stroll and make a point of stopping to have a short conversation with at least one person you meet along the way.
  • Sit on your front porch. You’ll be able to greet all kinds of people, young and old, as they pass by.
  • Take your children or grandchildren to the park. They’ll meet new friends, and so will you!
  • Organize a block or street party. What better way to foster a sense of community than by sharing hot dogs and cold drinks under a warm summer sky?
  • Support local merchants whenever you can. It’s important to patronize independent stores (many of which are often owned and run by people living within your community) because it keeps those businesses healthy and thriving. It also gives you another chance to get to know the locals.
  • Participate in community events. Check notice boards in your building or community centre to find out about fun events in which you might want to participate!
  • Support your child or grandchild’s school. Go to bake sales, volunteer to help with clubs and go on field trips.
  • Lend a hand with projects happening in your community, like food or clothing drives, neighborhood beautification initiatives or even Foresters playground builds. Visit to see what volunteer opportunities are available in your neck of the woods!

Being part of a caring, friendly community brings us comfort and joy at all stages of our lives. Giving back to that community—even in simple, ordinary ways—gives us a purpose and is one of the best ways to make sure the neighborhoods we love continue to grow and thrive.

409480 CAN/US (04/15)

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