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Crook County Foundation will take nominations for acts of neighborliness throughout month

It could be something as simple as offering a pleasant greeting or taking time to drop in and give someone a small gift or treat.

In recognition of National Good Neighbor Day on Sept. 28, the Crook County Foundation is launching its second local 30 Days of Neighborliness. The intent is to encourage people to expand the friendly and welcoming nature in Crook County through simple acts of neighborly kindness.

The origin of the local 30 Days program can be traced back to 1978, when President Jimmy Carter announced the creation of a national day aimed at raising public awareness that good neighbors help achieve human understanding and build strong, thriving communities. Much more recently, a global study conducted in 2020 by a team of loneliness experts demonstrated that knowing as few as six neighbors reduces the likelihood of feeling lonely and is linked to lower depression, social anxiety and financial concerns.

Crook County Foundation Director Rebekah Lambert said the 30 Days program was launched in 2021, prior to her hire. She said the idea was to take a community strength of neighborliness and give it a boost.

"It started when we were still in the throughs of the pandemic," she said. "I think there was an interest in encouraging even more connection. I think we all know that people were lonely, and some people were feeling isolated."

Crook County Foundation Leadership Committee Chair Patti Norris offered several ways in which people can act neighborly. She suggested "an introduction and a handshake, baking a special treat for a new neighbor or an old friend or inviting someone on a walk.

"These sociable acts are not extravagant, and they do not need to take much time," Norris continued. "They are simply no-strings-attached positive acts towards others in our community."

Lambert offered a couple of other examples, pulled from some of her personal observations and experiences.

"Just the other day, in my own neighborhood, I was taking a walk and one of our neighbors came out with a bouquet of flowers picked from her garden," she recalls. "And she was going across the street because she knew another neighbor was dealing with a family issue and thought that some bright, homegrown flowers would be nice. That's a terrific act of neighborliness."

A second incident benefited her directly. When she and her husband were first moving to Prineville, a little more than a year ago, several neighbors went out of their way to stop by, introduce themselves and say welcome to the neighborhood.

"That's an act of neighborliness that my husband and I certainly appreciated," she said.

The 30 days started on Aug. 30 and will continue through Sept. 28. During that time, people are invited to nominate acts of neighborliness. They can submit the nominations to the Foundation's website (www.crookcountyfoundation.org) or on a paper form available at the Crook County Library. Acts of neighborliness will be highlighted on the Foundation's Facebook page throughout September, and all nominations will be included in a drawing for local gift cards and treats at the end of the initiative.

"This is not a contest or a competition," Lambert said. "We are not judging or looking for something big, so all of the acts of neighborliness that we hear about will be equally eligible in the drawing…The spirit of this is simple small acts build a better community for all of us."


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