We love our city, but sometimes it’s hard to know how to show it. Here are some practical ways that each of us can make a difference in the STL.
1. Eat at local restaurants. Find that “hole in the wall” and explore their menu. It should go without saying, but when you buy local more of your money stays in your neighborhood. While you’re at it, why not start a community garden and share your vegetables?
2. Start a neighborhood blog. Share positive and encouraging stories online with each other. Make a neighborhood facebook page so that you can be a group online as well as in person.
3. Hug an artist. Better yet, support them by buying their work. There are plenty of STL artists that would love to assist you in decorating your home or street.
4. BBQ on the front porch instead of the back. We’re a city with a famous flavor. Don’t hide it in your backyard. Showcase it out front so your neighbors can smell and see your creation. And while the grill is hot, why not offer to share it for a friendly neighborhood BBQ battle?
5. Adopt your street. It’s easy to pick up trash, and you don’t need your name on a sign to keep your street clean.
6. Remember your neighbors’ names. ”Hey…Man…” may be okay for a couple conversations, but knowing your neighbors’ names is a vital step in building community. If you’re terrible with names (like almost all of us), here are a few tips for remembering.
7. Share tools. We don’t all need that expensive chainsaw, do we? Share your your stuff as well as your skills. If you have a gift, give it.
8. Create space for children to play. Not all of us have a park nearby, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use our space to creatively entertain our kids. Try setting up a basketball hoop on your block or heading over to Pinterest for creative children’s space ideas. You can also build up your neighborhood by creating a playgroup with other parents.
9. Look for needs and meet them. Helping with flat tires, lost pets, dead car batteries, and broken windows can all be great ways to share your life with those that live close to you.
10. Find a reason to party together. You’re gonna watch the Superbowl, so watch it together. Birthdays, holidays, and Saturdays are all good excuses to celebrate together.