February 9 marked the 19th Annual Neighbor Appreciation Day with hundreds of community members enjoying the celebration. Here’s a review of some of the activities that happened around the city:
Fifteen hardy souls picked up trash and litter all along the Seattle waterfront for a cleanup event sponsored by the Downtown Residents Council and Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. Alaskan Sourdough Bakery and Ivar’s provided food for the volunteers and the city provided rakes, brooms, grabbers, bags, vests, and gloves. During the cleanup, volunteers found a purse in the bushes underneath the viaduct. “We found the woman’s ID and Facebooked and Twittered, and within an hour we heard from her,” said City Councilmember Bagshaw. “She came down to the waterfront and was soon reunited with her purse.” Now that’s neighbors taking care of neighbors, no matter where they live!
Hundreds of families visited 21 Seattle Fire Department stations for their annual Neighbor Appreciation Day Open House. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., firefighters showed off their trucks and provided tours of their stations.
At tables located in the Wallingford Center and Wallingford Starbucks, representatives from Family Works, Wallingford Community Center, Wallingford Chamber, and the Wallingford Chamber asked passersby to take a quick break from their Saturday afternoon bustle and write a sentence or two about why they appreciate their neighbors. Below are a few sentiments that captured the spirit of the day:
* Thank you to my neighbors who feed me breakfast and always have a cup of sugar.
* We have a great sense of trust between us. I love our talks while gardening and the laughs…My neighbor is truly a great friend!
* They pick up my mail and newspapers when we’re out of town.
* To my neighbor on the corner of Midvale & 40th. Thanks for keeping the sidewalk pedestrian friendly!
At Ravenna Eckstein and Meadowbrook Community Centers, Sustainable NE organized its third annual community skills fair for neighbors called “Hands On.” Folks from the neighborhoods shared their skills by holding classes such as food preservation, basic plumbing, knitting, and bike maintenance, just to name a few.
Sixty people participated in the Cascade’s Passport Scavenger Hunt where 20 businesses and churches opened their doors to meet neighbors and give tours. Those who visited the locations and returned completed passports received a prize from local businesses – Paddy Coynes, Lunchbox Laboratory, Vivace, Seattle Great Wheel and Umpqua Bank. Free hot dogs were provided by the Cascade Neighborhood Council as well as pastries from Nollies Cafe (donated by PEMCO Insurance) at the Y @ Cascade People’s Center, which was the starting point for all participants. Read more here.
Feet First’s Neighborhood Walking Ambassadors led free, guided urban explorations of Seattle, Bellevue, Mercer Island, and Burien’s beautiful outdoor stairways, highlighting the Puget Sound Region’s awesome elevation changes and discussing the individual characteristics and historical context of our stairways. To see photos, visit here.
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods staff hosted 30 potential applicants interested in the Large Projects Fund, a program providing matching funds for neighborhood-initiative projects. The workshop shared criteria, best practices, and ideas to help applicants on their way. (Deadline for the fund is May 6).
Lastly, we’ve heard several stories of neighbors showing appreciation in a variety of ways across the city of sending cards, inviting neighbors for coffee, and providing a helping hand. So remember Neighbor Appreciation Day for next year and join in the fun.