The newsLINK Group - Creating Strong Community Bonds

Editorial Library Category: Multi-Family & Property Management Topics: Community Title: Creating Strong Community Bonds Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Most people want to belong to a good neighborhood where they feel valued and needed. Creating that kind of strong neighborhood bond, however, is not an accident. As an apartment management professional, you can have a big influence on building and strengthening social bonds between residents through the events you put together. Editorial: Creating Strong Community Bonds 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Most people want to belong to a good neighborhood community where they feel valued and needed. Creating that kind of strong neighborhood bond, however, is not an accident. As an apartment management professional, you can have a big influence on building and strengthening social bonds between residents through the events you put together. Some of the best choices for the holiday season are holiday celebrations and donation drives. What are the possibilities? Consider the following. Open-House Celebrations Anything that showcases and celebrates the unique, the interesting, and the seasonal can work to help you create a sense of community. A good way to start the season is by holding a community open house and inviting the entire neighborhood. Open- house celebrations of this kind are increasingly common in communities along the eastern seaboard such as Washington, D.C., and Rhode Island. Residents have embraced the idea because it makes their home neighborhood feel more welcoming and inclusive. What should you do during the open house? It can be as simple as officially lighting a beautiful tree and letting people get acquainted while they share light refreshments. Other ideas include: Host a brunch with Santa Organize caroling through the complex Have ice carving demonstrations Host an inexpensive ($5 or less) white-elephant gift exchange One complex that had only been open for one year celebrated their anniversary with a party. More than 200 people showed up to listen to the live performances that were scheduled. Toy Drives Some properties like straightforward toy drives. All you need to do is decide on a beneficiary, let people know about the drive, and begin collecting suitable items. You can choose from a variety of different places: a children’s hospital, a homeless shelter, a food bank, or any other place that is likely to have a good system for handling the gifts and getting them to the people who need them. Everyone from residents to office staff can participate in gathering items together. When the drive ends, it’s usual to designate a few people to represent the community and deliver the gifts. Those who participate usually have a wonderful time, and it is especially rewarding for everyone to know that 100 percent of what gets donated will reach the people who need it. The Giving Tree You might want to consider contacting The Salvation Army and participating in the Angel Tree program. The underlying idea is a simple one. Set up a tree and decorate it with tags. Each tag is numbered and usually has the name of a child on it, along with that child’s age and gender. However, you could also include the names of teens or seniors who need a little Christmas cheer, too. Members of the community may select a tag from the tree and then buy something appropriate, such as clothing or a toy. In general, families that need help register with The Salvation Army during October and November. If you want to find out what the dates and eligibility criteria are for your area, then go to the website for The Salvation Army and enter your zip code. The deadline for finding people to help is usually sometime in December. For more information, check out the website address a t www.salvationarmyusa.org . How big an impact can you have? One company in Richmond, Virginia with more than 100 rental properties estimates that between 5,000 and 7,000 gifts were donated in December 2013.

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