Publisher John Grossi’s takeaways from hosting a neighborhood pumpkin carving on his front lawn before Halloween!
We Love LB’s goal is to connect Long Beach neighborhoods one block at a time. That’s why they coordinate various community-wide events that focus on people getting to know their neighbors—events like the pancake breakfast in February, the ice cream social in June, and the Pumpkin Carving event in October.
I’m lucky enough to live on a block that gets together organically quite often. We have something called “lawn bar.” Pretty self-explanatory…and a great time.
So what was the impact of calling together neighbors once more for an official We Love LB event? Well, for me, it was a reminder that although I see many of my neighbors often, I don’t see all of my neighbors often.
We Love LB gives block hosts (me, in this particular scenario) guidance on how best to invite people and host an event. Part of the process is going door-to-door with a flyer from We Love LB to every house on your block. Every house.
One of the eye-openers of this event was realizing that when I say my “whole” neighborhood is close, I really mean about half.
Long story short, when the event came, we had a lot of the usuals over for the pumpkin carving, but there was one family I had never seen before from a house four doors down from mine.
Because I’m new to the block, all the other neighbors knew the family from years past. Over time, the family spent less time at neighborhood activities, and not for any particular reason other than living their life. But now, they’re out of the group texts, weekly conversations, etc.
It took the flyer and the inclusive nature of the event for them to be reminded they’re always welcome to neighborhood activities. They even brought pumpkin bread! A few days later, we hosted Halloween in front of our house and another family I hadn’t met came to that.
I think there’s something to this whole “invite everyone on your block” thing. I already feel more connected.
The next chance to support We Love LB is this month on Saturday, Nov. 17 for the Homebrew Festival that will feature Long Beach homebrewers! I also seriously recommend hosting one of their upcoming block events. The next one is the neighborhood breakfast in February.
All information about We Love LB, their mission, and their events can be found at welovelb.org.