Celebrate National Good Neighbor Day Sept. 26

As you’ve heard us say before, being self-sufficient does not mean being a lone wolf. There is power in numbers. The more folks who believe in preparing for an uncertain future, the better.

That’s especially true in our neighborhoods. The number of neighborhood watch groups has grown significantly through the years.

That shows that neighbors want to watch out for each other, especially when it comes to protecting themselves from thefts and vandalism.

You might not be home when a suspicious character starts eyeing your house, but one of your neighbors could be. And that neighbor’s presence could be what convinces the would-be thief to choose another house to case.

Neighbors watch out for neighbors

Of course, there’s more to being a good neighbor than just doing what you can to keep each other safe.

Some neighbors baby sit or pet sit for other neighbors. Some bring in the mail when a neighbor is out of town. Some simply provide an item like a cup of sugar or an egg when it’s needed.

And as it often turns out over time, neighbors frequently turn into lifelong friends who watch out for each other.

They share problems and solutions with each other, and help out in times of need. The important thing is that they are there when needed.

Montana woman gets it started

In case you didn’t know it, today is National Good Neighbor Day. It was the brainchild of Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana in the early Seventies.

This special day was launched to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of being a good neighbor.

Good Neighbor Day was celebrated on the fourth Sunday in September each year until 2003, when it was changed to September 28.

The following year, the Senate passed a resolution by Montana Senator Max Baucus to change it to September 26.

President Carter’s proclamation

For you history buffs, here’s the official National Good Neighbor Day proclamation issued by President Jimmy Carter in 1978.

“As our nation struggles to build friendship among the peoples of this world, we are mindful that the noblest human concern is concern for others. Understanding, love and respect build cohesive families and communities.

“The same bonds cement our Nation and the nations of the world. For most of us, this sense of community is nurtured and expressed in our neighborhoods where we give each other an opportunity to share and feel part of a larger family.

“I call upon the people of the United States and interested groups and organizations to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

There’s no time like the present

As important as it is for neighbors to have each other’s backs these days, it will be even more important during a crisis.

But when a disaster strikes, it will be too late to form relationships with neighbors. That’s why it’s important to get started on this now.

Get to know your neighbors, remember their names and jot down their contact information.

Make an effort to meet your next door neighbors and those across the street. Just introducing yourself can be the start of a stronger relationship and build a solid community in your area.

Need a tip to remember neighbors names or numbers? Inside my garage I jotted down a quick drawing of our street, with names next to each of the the homes. Most interactions I have are when I’m working in the garage, so having a quick “cheat sheet” when getting to know everyone was helpful.

Discuss forming a solid community with them and work on a unified disaster plan that will benefit everyone in case of an emergency.

National Good Neighbor Day is the perfect day to begin this project.

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