Everyone opened up. I opened up. I opened up my home for the progressive dinner and for Easter too. I never thought to do that before. I kept to myself mostly, maybe saw the neighbors across the street. People are coming together.
That’s how Mary S. of North Port, FL answered the question “What changes have you seen in your life and the lives of the other neighbors?”
Last year, we introduced Neighbors Gathering, the innovative yet simple way Don and Terry Vande Krol came up with to improve their neighborhood and the community around them: invite people who live around the block to their home each week.
Since then, Jenn-Marie Grant, an Americorps VISTA with citizen engagement organization SCOPE of Sarasota, FL, asked some of the citizens of the La France area about how they came to join Neighbors Gathering and the meaning they found in belonging to such a group:
- Where are you originally from?
- How did you come to North Port?
- What is your profession?
- How did you become a part of the Neighbors Gatherings?
- What changes have you seen in your life and the lives of the other neighbors?
- What do you feel you contribute to the group?
- Do you see the value of starting other groups?
- Sum up Neighbors Gatherings in one sentence….