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Celebrate Seattle’s Good Neighbors

As we enter the new year, many of us are counting our blessings and expressing gratitude for the things and people around us. At the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON), one thing we are grateful for is neighbors! Though it’s only January, we are already looking ahead to Neighbor Day 2024 which will take place on May 4. Neighbor Day is a special day set aside to reach out to the people near you, make new friends, and express thanks to those who help make your neighborhood and community a great place to live. 

We encourage residents, businesses, and community groups to participate however they like. The main goal is simply to reach out and connect with your neighbors through generosity.  

Who’s Your Good Neighbor? 

Each year we ask community members to tell us about the acts of kindness they have experienced and honor the people who support their community. Neighbor nominee stories that you send in are highlighted on our social media platforms, newsletter, blog, and in local media. We will ask for nominations this year starting in early April, but for now, here are a few 2023 neighbor nominee highlights:  

Girma Toke

bald black man wearing shorts standing in a garden

“Here are different communities. We help each other. We love each other. We respect each other.” -Girma Toke, Westcrest P-Patch

In his native country, Ethiopia, Girma Toke grew food. Now, as a Seattle resident, he has brought that passion and expertise to his Westcrest P-Patch garden. He grows many edible plants like cabbage, garlic, and certain seeds and spices that remind him of home — like ajwaian (carom seed), ruta chalepensis, and safflower which is sharp and protects his garden.

Stephanie Morales / Made Space Seattle

woman wearing a floral sundress stands in front of a decorated wall that says "mama I made it"

“Stephanie is a go-getter. I love how dedicated she is to creating a space that is meaningful to the community — and going above and beyond to ensure that everyone feels appreciated and welcomed.” -Chi Love, dating specialist and a Made Space Seattle collaborator

Stephanie Morales founded Made Space Seattle, an inclusive community, arts, and events space that elevates and highlights Black creatives and entrepreneurs.

Sabreen Abdullah

An Asian woman wearing a light brown shayla veil looking at the camera and smiling with lips closed

“Because there is no physical place that symbolizes what Cham culture really is … what makes me feel really connected to being a Cham woman in Seattle is visiting places where the culture is shared; whether that’s through food or community gatherings and being around members of the community…” -Sabreen Abdullah, Community Liaison for Seattle Department of Neighborhoods

Sabreen Abdullah is a Community Liaison for the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. She works with the Cham community, most of whom arrived in the U.S. as refugees. Cham is an ethnic minority group from Southeast Asia with a deep history that is many centuries old.

Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery (Jake Prendez and Judy Avitia-Gonzalez)

Illustration of a Latino man with a beard and a hat and a Latina woman with glasses and red lipstick. Handwritten text reads "Judy Avitia Gonzales and Jake Prendez, Nepantla Gallery"

“Jake and Judy use their space [Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery] to lift up countless other artists in the community as well as provide classes, workshops, and free art days for kids. They not only impact our neighborhood with their great art and retail shop, they have a constant rotation of art from the community hanging on their walls for themed exhibits. They encourage all ages and skill levels to apply to be in the shows. They host workshops, informational meetings about local events, field trips for school groups and tons of other events. They’ve partnered with many organizations to bring art to more people. Our neighborhood is better for having them here.”                                                                     – Sara McMahon, a neighbor and artist

Jake Prendez and Judy Avitia-Gonzalez have been bringing the arts to their community through the Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery, a space that serves as a Latinx/Chicanx arts hub of Seattle.

Learn about our other nominees: