In honor of National Good Neighbor Day on September 28th, we asked neighbors from across the country to recognize and say thank you to the people who give back to their local community, in ways both big and small. Throughout the last few weeks, nominations for Nextdoor’s Good Neighbor Awards have poured in from passionate neighbors who had incredible stories to tell. It was difficult, but we managed to narrow down the hundreds of submissions to our finalists!
Click through the gallery below to see their pictures and hear their stories, and cast your vote below to name the first-ever Nextdoor Good Neighbor Award winner!
Debbie Torau (Tollgate Village, TN) – “Grandparents Day” Joye Booher, a single working mother, had a dilemma: her 10 year old son, Caleb, had Grandparents’ Day coming up at school, but his grandparents had passed away, and Joye had to work. Lost for what to do, Joye turned to her neighbors and asked if any of them would be willing to accompany Caleb to school as his “grandparents” for the day. Her neighbor, Debbie Torau, was happy to step in. Thanks to Debbie, Caleb was able to show off his “grandparents” to the entire class and came home with a smile on his face.
Dee Barragan (San Jose, CA) – Arson Attacks When a serial arsonist set fire to Jeffrey Levine’s home in a spree that hit more than 13 houses and an industrial warehouse, he turned to his neighbors for help and reassurance. Without fail, Jeffrey’s neighborhood went on immediate alert to keep an eye on the community and schedule nightly watch shifts to make sure no other homes were targeted. Thanks to his collective neighborhood’s effort, this helped stop several arson attempts and ultimately helped the police apprehend the suspect.
Alan Mendoza (San Antonio, TX) – Neighborhood Firefighter When Alan Mendoza saw his neighbor’s house on fire late one night, he didn’t think twice – he immediately called 911, and then his neighbors, for help. Within minutes, he was headed toward the home, and when he heard his neighbor might still be inside, he forced the front burglar bars off of the home and climbed through the window. As firefighters arrived and took over, Alan was pushed back due to the intense heat and smoke, but he had already proved through one selfless act that he was willing to go above and beyond for his neighbors.
Tom Boughton (Lewisville, TX) – Neighborhood Cleanup When a gang of teenagers were setting fire to fields just outside of their neighborhood, as well as leaving dangerous litter, including cigarettes, broken glass bottles and other trash on the walking trails of the Hedrick Estates neighborhood, Tom Boughton took action. Fed up of seeing the neighborhood space being abused and destroyed, Tom rallied his neighbors and planned a large clean-up of the trails, removing the broken glass and litter, making the trails safe for children to walk to school and neighbors to enjoy walking their dogs, and to show the gang that the neighborhood noticed – and cared – about their property. Thanks to Tom’s hard work and organization, neighbors quickly came together to protect and clean up the neighborhood.
Clancy Harrison (Dallas, PA) – Nutritionist and Supermom Clancy Harrison has been described as an incredibly busy mother of two who dedicates her free time to helping others in the community. From raising thousands of dollars in donations for a foster child to volunteering to feed 70+ families a week through a local food bank, Clancy has positively impacted those who live around her. This past summer, she organized a weekly class to teach young children about healthy eating, giving them fresh produce and simple, healthy recipes for them to take home.
Sarah Davis (Hillsborough, NC) – Stealthy Snow Shovelers For years, Sarah Davis and her teenage sons have been quietly helping to clean up their elderly neighbors’ yards. From stealthily shoveling driveways and sidewalks, to cleaning up fallen trees, Sarah and her sons have inspired positive change in their neighborhood: now, most of their neighbors go and do the same without being asked.
Farrell Kenimer (Phoenix, AZ) – Never Too Old to Make New Friends Without a doubt, Farrell Kenimer has brought joy to his community. An 80-year-old retired widower, Farrell stays connected with his neighbors and is constantly looking to make new acquaintances. In fact, he threw his own 80th birthday party in his backyard and invited the entire neighborhood to attend, proving that no one is ever too old to make new friends and throw an awesome party.
500 Block MacDonough Street Neighbors (Brooklyn, NY) – Dedicated Community The 500 Block MacDonough Street Association in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY has continuously shown a dedication to the growth and enrichment of their community. From block watch programs to reduce crime, to planting new trees and advocating for the reduction of their carbon footprint, to organizing many celebrations (Easter Egg Hunt, Earth Day gathering and the 57th Annual Block Party) just to name a few. This community shows the power of knowing your neighbors and continues to institute programs to strengthen their community such as emergency preparedness training, Thanksgiving dinner for seniors, and the 47th Annual Brownstoners House Tour are coming up this fall.
Lisa Ford (Chattanooga, TN) – Neighborhood Lending Library Lisa Ford opened a free, mini library in the Brock Pointe neighborhood outside of Chattanooga, TN. She provides free books, CDs, and DVDs to her neighbors and surrounding community while promoting lifelong reading to all who visit.
Neighbors at The Preserves at Rio Pinar (Orlando, FL) – Breast Cancer Survivor When Charlene Salley was diagnosed with breast cancer, her neighbors stepped up to help. One neighbor stayed with her overnight at the hospital when she was in surgery. Another neighbor stayed with her at her home when she returned home in case she needed any help, day or night. On her 25th wedding anniversary just days after surgery, Charlene was able to celebrate in the comfort of her home, thanks to 3 neighbors who brought in a candlelit dinner and arranged a beautiful table setting for her and her husband. A neighbor who owned a hair salon even came to Charlene’s home and shaved her head, bringing with her gifts of scarves and wigs for any outfit Charlene would want. Thankfully, Charlene is now a breast cancer survivor, thanks in part to the tireless generosity and goodwill of her neighbors who helped her in her time of need.
Tim Sigle (Palm Springs, CA) – Neighbor Extraordinaire Several of Tim Sigle’s neighbors wrote in, describing his tireless efforts to connect their neighborhood and keep the community safe. From helping to organize pet adoption drives, to planning community block parties, and even stopping burglars in the act when he spotted them breaking into his neighbor’s home, Tim has been described as the kind of neighbor that “every neighborhood needs.”