By Kathryn Firago
|MANA and School of Public Health team|
Create a Community Buddy System – This is something that many of our neighbors are already doing, but it could be more intentional. Neighbors who would like to volunteer to check in on other neighbors’ safety and well being could be matched with ones who would like to have the contact, be
it weekly or some other time frame. It would be a win-win situation for both. This could aid in elderly neighbors not only getting basic needs met, but also in satisfying social needs for them.
Institute Informal Social Gatherings – Arrange potlucks, walking groups, meet-ups at Melton’s or a local restaurant. Form a knitting group, quilting group, and book club. These could happen frequently and could possibly be hosted by the North Decatur Presbyterian Church as the pastor there has offered to work with MANA more often.
Utilize Facebook and other social networks – This could facilitate more immediate networking and announcements. Meetings for Neighborhood Watch, community meetings and the aforementioned informal gatherings could be publicized not only on the Medlock neighborhood website but also on Nextdoor and Facebook. There could be a service-bartering page to offer and request services, such as yard work, housework, babysitting or pet-sitting. This is another way to connect our neighbors to each other in a more personal way.
Use the Dekalb County Public Library Takeout Service – There is a “Savvy Senior” program that includes book discussion groups, a film series, seasonal tax assistance and volunteer opportunities. A library administrator could travel to our neighborhood to conduct workshops on topics of interest such as coping with diabetes, heart disease, and training in computer use.
These are just a few of the suggestions made by the Emory students. We have many to consider and attempt to implement. If you would like to be a part of this Lifelong Communities committee and start making some of these possibilities a reality, please get in touch with Lynn, Deb, Kathryn or Suzan via firstname.lastname@example.org