Practical Tips for Helping Your Neighbor

| 7 min read Crowdfunding

Being “neighborly” is declining: a survey from Pew Research revealed that a majority of Americans admit to knowing only some of those who live on their street, while 23% of those under the age of 30 know none. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Research has shown that micro-interactions increase life satisfaction—meaning that even a nice comment in passing can brighten your day, as well as your neighbor’s. We can each do our part to help a neighbor in a time of need, and support each other.

10 nice things to do for your neighbor

You might not think that when you help others, you help yourself—but it’s true. When you do good and are kind, the brain releases happy chemicals, like oxytocin and serotonin. You feel more positive, fulfilled, and connected to those around you. If you need some awesome ideas for how you can help your neighbor, we’ve compiled a list of ten ways to help a neighbor, below.

1. Bring over a home-cooked meal

Bringing over a delicious meal that you made yourself is a wonderful act of kindness. A mother with a new baby, an elderly next door who has trouble cooking, or a family struggling with a medical situation—they will all appreciate your efforts. It also doesn’t cost much, and a meal can be easily prepared in advance. 

2. Offer a small gift

Small tokens of appreciation can go a long way toward forging a friendly connection with your neighbors. Bake some homemade cookies, or simply layer all ingredients in a jar together with a handwritten recipe for an inexpensive but delicious gift. A gift can also come in the form of offering your time or help, like offering to collect mail while they are on vacation, or helping your neighbors with minor home repairs if you’re handy.

3. Start a fundraiser

If you know your neighbor is struggling financially, crowdfunding is one of the best ways to raise money for a family in need. Using an online fundraising platform like GoFundMe is a powerful way to connect with your community and amplify your cause. Ensure success by first brainstorming a few fundraising ideas. Remember to always check with your neighbor before starting a fundraiser on their behalf to make sure they’re on board. 

There are many advantages to starting a GoFundMe, including:

  • Simple pricing—there’s no fee to start or manage your fundraiser. There is one small transaction fee per donation that covers all your fundraising needs. Everything else goes directly to your cause, because that’s what matters most.
  • Access to fundraising tools that make it simple to create, share, and raise money for your fundraiser.
  • Our Customer Care team is here to answer your questions and offer expert advice every step of the way. 

4. Help anonymously

Sometimes, asking for help or offering assistance is difficult. The nonprofit My Neighbor in Need makes it easier to give and receive, by anonymously matching those in need with resources donated by people who want to help. My Neighbor in Need currently serves counties in both Montana and Wisconsin. 

5. Start a carpooling group

One of several excellent ways to help is to start a carpooling group in your area. Consider a carpooling group for taking kids to and from school or sharing rides with neighbors who work in the same area or complex. You and your neighbors can save both time and money, as well as wear and tear on your vehicles. 

6. Organize neighborhood playdates

If you have kids yourself, help take some of the load off a working parent by watching their children for an afternoon. Organizing playdates is not only good for the kids but will up your time and your neighbor’s as you alternate. It’s a win-win for everyone.

7. Partner with a community organization

Community organizations are a great way to connect with your neighbors and become more aware of what’s happening in your area. These groups also empower you to make a difference in the lives of those around you.  

  • Help Your Neighbor exists to connect people within the same communities, who want to share resources and offer support. The website lets you build a virtual community in any city and neighborhood in the US.
  • Neighbor 2 Neighbor empowers residents of the Nashville area to come together and create a safer neighborhood for all. They offer various programs to help individuals build an effective neighborhood organization.
  • A nonprofit organization, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, is dedicated to helping Rhode Island families stay in their homes. Their main focus is to help with necessary home repairs or alterations so that residents in need always have a safe and livable home.

8. Start a community project

Starting a community project is a great way to bond with your neighbors while supporting a cause you all care about. Some ideas for ways you can help your community include working together to expand a local animal shelter, starting a community garden, or starting a school fundraiser. Check out our blog on community service ideas for more ways to get involved. 

9. Offer a listening ear

In our fast-paced world with busy schedules, we could all use the opportunity to slow down and connect with others on a personal level. Consider paying them a visit and simply offer a listening ear. Ask them if there’s anything they need—perhaps you have an elderly next door who needs help running errands or a single parent who needs help keeping up with yard work. 

10. Plan a fun neighborhood event

Fundraising events involving the neighborhood are a fun way to connect with the people in your area while supporting a good cause. Host a barbecue night or a benefit dance, or consider throwing a simple dinner party. 

Examples of crowdfunding to help your neighbor

If you’re thinking, “I want to help my neighbor, but don’t have much myself,” there are still ways you can help. By simply setting up a fundraiser, you have already played a vital role in helping a neighbor. Take a look at some examples of how people in areas just like yours are helping their neighbors in a time of need.

An Orting Resident Needs Our Help!

When Jacob found out that his elderly neighbor Paul had a roof that desperately needed repairs, he immediately set up a fundraiser with a few friends. The cost of a new roof came to several thousands of dollars, which Paul could not afford by himself. Jacob’s fundraiser was a success, raising more than $7,000 to help Paul afford a new roof. 

Help the best neighbors rebuild

During a storm, a giant tree fell in the middle of Jenn and David’s home—severely damaging the house and totaling their car. Insurance deductibles alone would cost the family thousands. Their neighbor, Patty, saw a way to help and quickly set up a fundraiser. She raised more than $27,000 to help Jenn and David rebuild.

Help Fix Freddi’s Sinkhole!

After a drainage pipe for Freddi’s pond collapsed, a sinkhole formed in her driveway—making getting to or from her home dangerous and difficult. The quote for repairs was in the thousands, which Freddi could not afford on her retirement income. Her friend Gary organized a fundraiser, and Freddi’s neighbors rallied together to raise more than $6,500 to fix the sinkhole and repair Freddi’s driveway.

You can help your neighbors today

If your neighbors are in a difficult situation and need help, you can be a lifeline by starting a family fundraiser. Through your fundraiser, you can bring hope to one of your neighbors in need and prevent an unfortunate situation from turning into a personal financial crisis. During times of crisis, GoFundMe’s Act hub with verified fundraisers offers trusted ways to help communities that are impacted. Sign up today, show your support, and make a difference for someone in a time of need.

Written by Brittany Chambers

I believe we all have the power to make a difference. Through informative and heartfelt content, I hope to create change and inspire others to give back to those who need it most.