Help your community to thrive
There’s always room for more projects to improve your neighbourhood.
The arrival of a new year often equals lists of resolutions, goals and dreams for the next 12 months. But with a little creative thinking, 2017 could herald a new beginning for your neighbourhood too.
Community organisations and causes are the foundation of local New Zealand. Who runs your volunteer fire brigade? What about your op shop? Your primary school’s walking bus? That nifty book exchange that popped up overnight in the park just down the road? Wherever you look, chances are there’s a community organisation or project that needs a bit of neighbourly support.
And there’s always room for more. This year, think about bringing together neighbourhoodconscious volunteers to transform your neighbourhood one project at a time. Gather together some like-minded gardeners and establish a community garden where locals can get their hands dirty alongside each other in exchange for free and fresh produce. Hold classes for wannabe gardeners and teach kids about the real origins of their dinners, then donate any leftover fresh produce to your local food bank.
Water Safety New Zealand says 156 schools have closed their swimming pools in the last five years while another 135 are a whisper away from closing, because they can’t afford the upkeep. But swimming is a basic skill that every Kiwi kid should have. Start fundraising to either construct a pool at your local school, or ensure that an existing pool won’t be at risk of permanently emptying.
If the future of your children is important, organise a public meeting to discuss what you can all do to eradicate crime and violence from your community. Invite teachers, police officers, business owners, doctors and kaumatua along to contribute from their unique point of view.
Establish an Adopt a Grandparent programme between your local rest home and kindergarten or primary school to help minimise the sense of loneliness and isolation that can come with age, while instilling great values in your children. Encourage weekly engagement .
Launch a healthy lifestyle programme for all ages to teach healthy habits around food and exercise. Get your local gyms, doctors and schools involved, and add a little competition to it by asking local businesses to donate great prizes to 12-week challenges.
Of course, every community organisation or project could do with a little extra help. AMI and Neighbourly are teaming up to give away a whopping $20,000 to support worthy community organisations and initiatives right around New Zealand.
AMI and Neighbourly are teaming up to support worthy community organisations and initiatives right around New Zealand.