Prepare to Welcome New Neighbors
In the South where I live, summer temps are rising and pop-up thunderstorms are frequent. When there’s a lot of rain in our neighborhood, the next form of precipitation we see is falling limbs or trees which knock down power lines. My new motto is “Be prepared.” At the first clap of thunder, I charge my cell phone and quickly brew a cup of coffee while my husband grabs a lantern, just in case the power goes out.
Serving other people with gifts or acts of kindness takes a bit of preparation, too. Do you ever wish you could meet the needs of another person, but find that creative ideas or time is short? Have you ever forgotten the need because you postponed follow-through while wondering what you could do? I certainly have.
In July, many families move to new locations prior to the start of the school year. Today, I’m sharing ideas for welcoming to new neighbors. I hope these suggestions will help you prepare to share kindness in your neighborhood.
Moving Day Goodies
Is there any work in the world harder than moving? I remember sheer muscular and emotional exhaustion almost reducing me to tears. Neighbors can ease the burdens of that difficult time with these ideas:
- Select a pretty basket as a house warming gift. Fill it with cleaning supplies or non-perishable snacks.
- If you know the move-in date ahead of time, you or your children can create a welcome poster to display along with a bag of apples and iced tea.
- Provide bottles of cold water, cups, napkins, and fruit to hydrate the moving crew.
- Volunteer to assist with making beds with fresh linens or picking up dinner to make the first night a little easier.
- Gather local maps and brochures to acclimate the family to the area.
- Provide a flyer or web address for local churches and offer to meet the new neighbors at yours.
- Share guest passes for the pools or museums where you have memberships or provide information for area attractions.
- Create a list of nearby medical facilities, schools, restaurants, and businesses where you receive good service. Include a pharmacy and hardware store and share coupons.
- Circulate a welcome card among neighbors for everyone to sign and include telephone numbers if they wish. Photos of neighbors in front of their homes would really spell welcome and facilitate good neighbor relationships.
- Arrange a small bouquet of flowers from your yard in a Mason jar and tie a ribbon or strip of fabric around the container. A green plant in an inexpensive ceramic pot can brighten the new home.
- Bake a loaf of nut bread or buy bakery cinnamon rolls. Add paper plates, coffee, and juice to jump start the first morning in a new home.
- Fill a bag with luncheon meats, a couple of types of bread, chips, fruit, and cookies to boost energy at a busy time.
- Plan a coffee-doughnut chat or cookout to introduce the new family to other neighbors. Cutting watermelon, serving lemonade and cookies, or making a churn of ice cream might be fun.
Spending hours in the kitchen and excessive amounts of money are not requirements for serving as the “welcome wagon.” The most important gifts are a warm handshake and smiles across the fence. Simply displaying a welcoming attitude coupled with kindness can ease the transition for new neighbors.
Please share your ideas for welcoming new neighbors or tell us how you received a warm welcome when you were the newcomer.
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them . . .
–Matthew 7:12 ESV