The past few months have been difficult. We’ve been worried, uncertain and at times, isolated. However, since mid-March when we as a country stayed home and worked together to flatten the curve, we’ve been truly inspired by the stories of neighbours coming together to ask for help, offer help, lend a helping hand, provide much needed entertainment, bake bread and share a story, or two.
Neighbours Helping Neighbours
Chris Rogge from Markham Village, is one of the first neighbours we met who quickly took action to help his neighbours. Chris and his young family live between two elderly couples. Knowing it was unsafe for his neighbours to head out to the store, Chris offered to do their grocery shopping and run their errands so they could stay safe at home. Realizing that they weren’t the only elderly people in the neighborhood, Chris posted on Nextdoor encouraging his neighbours to do the same. Within a few hours his response blew up and a group of community members joined together to ensure everyone in their neighbourhood were taken care of. “It’s all about being there for others,” said Chris. “Just start asking people: who needs help?”
Nextdoor lead, Graydon Tranquilla, recognized the outstanding contribution Louise Oczkowski was making to their Calgary neighbourhood of Garrison Woods and the leadership role she took in bringing the community together. To ensure everyone in the community had what they needed, Louise acquired and delivered groceries for those in quarantine, the elderly, and those not wanting to risk exposure. And, that was only the beginning. Realizing the community need she organized an initiative to get groceries to those needing food, gloves, and other vital supplies. Then, looking beyond her immediate neighbourhood, Louise jumped in to support the Mustard Seed, a local service for street people and others needing a meal and shelter. These actions provided essential support to the community and demonstrated that even the most vulnerable in the area have a neighbour they can count on.
“It is my personal opinion that Nextdoor members, throughout the three communities that I serve here in Calgary under our community association, are very appreciative and supportive in contributing to our communities via the Nextdoor app and via person-to-person assistance in so many ways,” Graydon recently shared.
As the weeks of lockdown continued and so many of us began to wrap our heads around staying home, photographer Erik McRitchie from Tuscany, another neighbourhood in Calgary, realized that this once in a lifetime experience needed to be documented. Camera ready-to-go, he offered socially distanced porch photos to those in his community. Whether celebrating a birthday or taking a few minutes to get silly, he snapped keepsake photos of the families in his neighbourhood making the most of this unique time. Erik told us the story of one little girl who turned five during quarantine. “Her family threw her a porch party for her birthday because she was sad that she couldn’t see any friends.” Throughout the lockdown Erik did more than 40 photo shoots. “So much community engagement happening,” he shared.
These are only a few examples of the inspiring stories we’ve seen through the last few months. As Marie Boulet from Champfleury, Quebec “Nextdoor has enabled a wave of support and solidarity that’s gained momentum, making it possible to come together as a neighbourhood and keeping us informed during this difficult time that touches us all.”
We love to hear stories of neighbours coming together and will continue to share inspiring stories of neighbours from across the county. If you have a great neighbour story you want to share, we’d love to hear it! Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org