In the last 30 days over 130 of you have joined this network. Welcome and Thank you!
If you are wondering what we are all about, here's what I think best describes us: (leave a comment to let me know what you think).
Neighbors for Neighbors connects neighbors and keeps them connected by making it possible for them to successfully organize around their common interests and passions.
We encourage neighbors to build on the promise of hope and change, and provide tools for neighbors to become actively engaged. Each year we produce two Community Organizing Expo's, and we also maintain a neighborhood social network http://www.neighborsforneighbors.org
Our Community Organizing Expos provide neighbors with an opportunity to share their ideas and passions via "tabling." Neighbors set up stations that residents can visit to learn about the group’s activities. Anyone who is inspired can join the group. To sustain the energy and momentum, we have created an online neighborhood social network. The network provides our group leaders with communication and collaboration tools, as well as a constant flow of new volunteers and members. The network is a one-stop-shop for everyone's neighborhood needs. Even the Mayor's Neighborhood Coordinator has a profile and blogs on the network. Here are some sample groups our neighbors have started:
• Garbage Brigade - Organizes trash pick-ups around the neighborhood.
• JP Bikes - Creates a tight knit community of bikers
• JP Free School – Is building a democratically-run Free School in JP
• Middle East Book Club - Reads and discusses Middle Eastern literature.
• Peace Boston - Addresses violence in the community.
• The MugProject - Advocates the use of mugs to reduce waste.
After nearly five years of operation, Neighbors for Neighbors has brought together more than 4,000 residents, has inspired the creation of over 100 social activity clubs and community projects, and has linked hundreds of volunteers with local non-profits. Our members can find or create a social club or community project for any of their diverse interests. In total, we have been responsible for generating more than 8,000 hours of community engagement. Our funding come from our members, and our annual budget is about $2,000.
Our next Community Organizing Expo will be on March 11 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the Milky Way Lounge and Lane: 405 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. All are welcome.
How we got started:
In August 2004, Joseph Porcelli set out to alert local residents to a rash of violent assaults and robberies in the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain, MA. Five hundred fliers were handed out to residents at the Stonybrook T stop, informing them of assaults and robberies and educating them about crime prevention.
The flyer distribution encouraged residents to organize a Neighborhood Crime Watch meeting. An astonishing 60 residents attended and learned about taking responsibility for their own safety and the safety of the neighborhood. The top suggestion for crime prevention that arose from the meeting was to get to know your neighbors.
Inspired by the community’s strong turnout and by the suggestion of his neighbors, Porcelli and his new friends organized a neighborhood social. The first neighborhood social event was held on October 26th, 2004 and was attended by 90 residents. At the first Social, a member suggested a Community Organizing Expo, which would allow members to create groups that would help neighbors stay connected. It worked!