In 2023 many people, especially those who live in cities, would answer this question "No".
If questioned "Why not?" Some might bemoan bygone days when neighborhoods were places of block parties and children running between houses and every parent looking out for every child. Some might make excuses about working long hours and not having enough time in the day. Others might declare their neighborhood unsafe and say they don't trust their neighbors (who they just admitted, they do not actually know). But most would just say explain, "the world has changed".
At Open Arms Community we are currently beginning a campaign to regain our sense of Community. To do that, we need to literally get to know our neighbors. This includes our numerous new neighbors (see previous blog about gentrification), as well as those who live a bit further away but are part of our programs in some way, either as a volunteer or a participant.
Open Arms Community is part of a larger, broad based group of organizations in Forsyth County who is engaging in some community organizing efforts. One of the most important steps in this process is to have relational meetings. These meetings offer a chance for two people to speak one-on-one about their lives, their hopes, their dreams, their strengths, their struggles, and their vision for their family and their community.
We are currently conducting relational meetings among our board of directors as well as between board members, volunteers, staff, and the families who participate in the various programs offered in our community center.
Our goal is that these meetings will help us get to know one another better to strengthen our community. At the same time, we hope to assess our current programs as well as envision future program possibilities.
If you live in the neighborhood and want to get to know us better, please come introduce yourself. We would love to get to know you!