Sharing helps foster a sense of community, online or in your neighborhood. Today’s economy is all about sharing. The Internet and social media have changed the way marketing, networking, and friendships happen. It’s actually a brave, new world of sharing out there.
HOAs are built for sharing. Living close to your neighbors invites over-the-fence conversation, tool borrowing, and impromptu park playdates. You share pools, pavilions, and parking lots, but shouldn’t there be more to it than that? The more people share on a human level, the happier they can become. In fact, research has proven that, “sharing in all its forms is a truly powerful way to bring happiness.”
In an HOA, you have a unique opportunity to facilitate sharing among neighbors. A lot of sharing will (hopefully) take place over the natural course of living and doing, but there are plenty of things you can do to help make it happen. Here are a few ideas to help create a sense of community:
- Community Garden — Providing a community garden can help people get together to work, swap tips, and share the harvest. You could even schedule “garden days” where residents sign up to tend the garden in certain shifts or for specific tasks. Why not have a local expert come and show people how it’s done?
- Tool Sharing — If your HOA has private gardens or yard areas where members do their own work, why not set up a community shed to provide the tools? Just make sure things are tagged as community property, and keep track of tools being signed in and out. Most people will appreciate the gesture and return what they borrow.
- Carpooling — Do you have multiple members headed downtown or to the train station every day? Why not encourage and facilitate ride sharing?
- Compassion Committee — Some HOAs have set up compassion or benevolence committees. These are residents who have volunteered to organize help for struggling residents facing grief or other hardships. When someone hears of the challenges of a neighbor, they can notify the committee, who springs into action.
These days, sharing is easier than ever. In an instant you can network, commiserate, and hob-nob with millions of people over millions of miles. We truly live in an amazing world. But old-fashioned sharing and caring still has a primary place in human happiness; and hopefully a prominent place in your HOA.
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