Regardless of the shape or size of a neighborhood, neighbors have a need to connect with one another. Isn’t it interesting to see how each neighborhood finds creative ways to get together?
The Junior College Neighborhood Association has a year round swap for its residents. The neighborhood is full of gardeners and eco-conscious folks who have a reduce-reuse approach, so swaps fit into its neighborhood culture perfectly.
In summer they have a weekly produce swap on Saturday mornings in Humboldt Park. Now that it’s cold outside, the neighborhood had to get creative and figure out how to continue getting together. They decided to hold a swap series indoors on the first Saturday during the winter months from November – April. On March 3rd there will be a household items swap and on April 7th there will be a garden supplies and tools swap.
Don’t think for a minute that the swap is the only thing that is happening in the JC neighborhood. Neighbors have an annual meeting (which falls on tax day this year!), community bulletin boards and they are knocking on neighbors doors to not only tell residents about what’s happening in the neighborhood but to listen to what neighbors’ concerns are.
Outreach is the key to having a successful neighborhood group. Back in 2007, Julie Chasen and her neighbors placed 18 straw bales throughout the JC neighborhood to encourage places for neighbors to gather.
One bale was placed on the corner of Wright and Howard Streets where a gentleman named Char lived. Char decided to make a bench over the straw bale. Then he built a back for the bench. Then came the wood sides and a roof. Pretty soon he put in a bulletin board which quickly evolved into a gathering spot for the neighborhood. Char passed away shortly after the bulletin board was completed though his wife Naomi and his neighbors still keep his dream and neighborhood connector alive. In fact, neighbors place candles at the site on the Day of the Dead, not only to celebrate Char’s life, but to celebrate others who have passed on. And it all started with “just” a bale of straw.
For more information about JCNA, check out their website at http://www.srjcneighbors.org/ or find them on Facebook. Or better yet, contact Autumn Buss at 707-568-7251 or firstname.lastname@example.org and talk to a real live person!
Prom Dress Donations Needed!
When we say that “It takes a Village,” it doesn’t have to mean a geographic area. Many times people from different areas come together to help one another. Such is the case with the 2nd annual Prom Dress Drive that is happening now until March 30th.
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with Sonoma County’s MANA’s Hermanitas, to collect prom dresses and accessories for Santa Rosa high school girls who may not be able to afford a to attend their high school prom.
Let’s not have someone miss their prom because they don’t have a dress. Look through your closets for new or gently used prom dresses, jewelry, shoes, and clutches. Hopefully you can find just the right thing to help a young girl attend the prom of her dreams.
To schedule a time to drop off your donations at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce office, for more information or to become a sponsor, please call Donna Zapata at (707) 575-3648.
Young ladies are invited to shop for a free prom dress at The Flamingo Resort and Spa Saturday, March 31st from 10 am – 1 pm. And “hats off” to The Flamingo for donating a ballroom for “shopping day!”