Foster a Sense of Community with Block Parties and Garage Sales
Spring is finally here so it’s time to stop hibernating inside and venture outdoors! With warmer weather approaching, many people like to get outside, join volunteer groups, or meet the new neighbor who moved in during winter. As an HOA board member, it’s your job to help create a friendly environment where homeowners feel proud of where they live. Many people want to know their neighbors instead of feeling like it’s just a bunch of town homes that share a wall. An easy way to encourage neighborly love is with community activities such as a block party or neighborhood garage sale. Here are some tips on planning a seamless event in your HOA community.
Block parties are a great way to encourage bonds among neighbors and foster a sense of community. Your board can either plan the activity or round up a subcommittee of homeowners to be in charge of event planning.
- Date: The first task to planning the party is choosing a date. Weekends usually work best for everyone, typically on a Saturday afternoon. Avoid holiday weekends since most people will have plans or be out of town. If you plan far enough out, members can present a few dates to homeowners during a meeting and ask for feedback on which is preferred.
- Location: One you pick a date, you will need to find a good location. This should be the easiest part because you will want to hold the party in a communal room or a nearby park. Ideally, the location should be easily accessible for anyone in the community.
- Entertainment: Based on the demographic of your community, and time of year, search for block party ideas.
- Volunteers: Request help from other owners in the community to help set up on the day of the event.
- Event notice: Announce the event at least two weeks in advance to give owners ample notice. Then hang up flyers on the community board or distribute invites throughout the neighborhood or via your community communication system.
- Legal: If the party is on private property, there is no need to inform the village or city. For single family home communities, you may need a permit and the village’s help to block off the street.
Planning a community garage sale has a similar approach. Subcommittees can be formed to help plan the event, but a little more effort is required since the public is involved.
- Date: Normally, garage sales happen over a span of an entire weekend. Typically sales begin on Friday and can go through Sunday. Again, present a few dates to owners to see what would work best for them.
- Location: Each owner would either hold their sale in their garage or in their parking spot outside.
- Event notice: In addition to a sign at the neighborhood edges, notify the public about the sale by posting in grocery stores or creating an event online. Social media is a great option because it is easy and free and can reach more people at a faster rate.
- Volunteers: Ask for volunteers to make and hang up signs around the neighborhood and at busy street corners.
- Legal: Contact the village, since the event does involve public participation.
Photo credit: (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)