February 6, 2010 is Neighbor Appreciation Day

Mark your calendar for Neighbor Appreciation Day 2010!
February 6th marks the 16th annual Seattle celebration of neighbors

February 6, 2010 will mark Seattle’s 16th annual Neighbor Appreciation Day. It is a time to reach out to our neighbors — to create new bonds and to express our thanks for the neighbors in our lives.

History:
The celebration began in 1995 when Phinney Ridge activist Judith Wood suggested that the City designate “a special day to celebrate the goodness in those around us and to reach out and strengthen our bonds to each other.” Mayor Norm Rice responded by proclaiming the Saturday before Valentine’s Day as Neighbor Appreciation Day. The observance has grown every year since!

Neighbor Appreciation Day is a grassroots celebration. People and organizations organize block parties, open houses, award ceremonies, potluck dinners, and work parties to recognize and encourage caring neighbors. In addition, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods sponsors an art contest for K-12 students in Seattle. The winners of the contest have their art featured on Neighbor Appreciation Day greeting cards distributed free throughout Seattle in recognition of caring neighbors.

Planning an Event?
If your organization is planning an activity for Neighbor Appreciation Day, you can include it on our special online events calendar. Just visit our events page, www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/calendar, hit the link for “Submit an Event” on the upper left-hand column, read the “How to Submit…” and policy guidelines, and complete the form. You’ll note on the form there is a section called DON Programs, so be sure to select Neighbor Appreciation Day.

The Neighbor Appreciation Day events calendar will be posted on the Department of Neighborhoods website beginning mid-December. It will also be shared with the Mayor’s Office, Seattle City Council and the media. There is no deadline for submitting events. If you have questions, please contact Wendy Watson at wendy.watson@seattle.gov (206-684-0719).

Free Neighbor Appreciation Greeting Cards
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods produces free greeting cards available to Seattle residents, schools, and community organizations that want to acknowledge the good work of their immediate neighbors and others who help make their neighborhood a special place to live.

If you want to order greeting cards for larger events, contact Wendy Watson at wendy.watson@seattle.gov (or 206-684-0719). Beginning in mid-January, you can pick up cards at Seattle City Hall, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods office, the 13 Neighborhood Service Centers, community centers, and libraries throughout Seattle.

Greeting Card Contest
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods invites Seattle students K-12 to contribute original artwork for a city-wide contest. The winning artworks are featured on the official Neighbor Appreciation Day greeting cards. In addition, the Department of Neighborhoods hosts a special awards event on Neighbor Appreciation Day to honor the winning students and honorable mentions, along with their parents and teachers. The deadline for submittals is December 11, 2009.

Instructions
The contest is open to all Seattle students K-12. The artwork should reflect the theme of Neighbor Appreciation Day, depicting caring and active neighbors. Some visuals from previous years show neighbors sharing meals, helping with child care, talking over the fence or working together on a community project, such as building a new playground.

Art should be submitted on 8 ½ x 11 paper. It is recommended that art be vivid in color. Artwork created with watercolors or magic markers tend to show better, but all formats are welcome. Name, address, school, and complete contact information must be written on the back of the artwork. Artwork will not be returned.

Send entries by December 11 to: Student Art Contest
Department of Neighborhoods
700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1700
P.O. Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

If you have questions, please contact Wendy Watson at wendy.watson@seattle.gov (206-684-0719) or Lois Maag at lois.maag@seattle.gov (206-615-0950).