Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.

Community / Block Captains

© Richard Thorp | Dreamstime.com

If you are willing to help your neighbors, perhaps as a Block Captain or in a similar role:

  • Contact your local police department to determine if there is already a Block Captain for your neighborhood and, if not, if they can provide assistance to you if you become a Block Captain
  • Volunteer to be a point of contact for your neighbors and neighborhood
  • Volunteer to mediate minor disputes and help resolve misunderstandings between neighbors
  • Contact each resident on your block or street

    • Provide useful info to residents, e.g.:
      • Your phone number, email address, etc.
      • Phone numbers to get assistance from the local government
      • Recommendations for home repair, home improvement, large purchases, restaurants, etc
      • How to obtain regular updates on criminal activity in the neighborhood
    • Encourage them to give you their name(s), phone number(s) and/or email address(es) which could just be used by you (the Block Captain) in emergencies, and, with their permission, could be included in a neighborhood directory (to be provided only to residents of the neighborhood and to be used only for non-commercial uses such as contacting them about problems and/or for social reasons)
    • Ask them if they have any special needs on a regular basis and/or in the event of an emergency (e.g., neighborhood evacuation, flooding, fire)
  • Organize Neighborhood Watch activities, e.g.:

    • Arrange for a police/city representative to talk to a gathering of your neighbors
    • Arrange for the purchase of one or more Neighborhood Watch signs for your block or street
    • Arrange for residents to purchase Neighborhood Watch stickers for their doors and/or windows
    • National Night Out walk
  • Arrange to receive regular updates on criminal activity in your neighborhood
  • Determine if there are safety hazards for residents (especially children) on your block or street, e.g.:
    • Vehicles driving too fast
    • Places where child predators or wild animals could hide, e.g., overgrown bushes
    • Fire hazards, e.g., dry brush, trash
    • Criminal activities, e.g., burglaries, car thefts, gangs, drugs
  • Determine potential solutions to safety hazards, e.g., speed bumps, additional STOP signs, clearing or cutting back overgrown bushes, increased police patrols, dissemination of information to residents regarding steps they can take to reduce hazards
  • Organize social events, e.g.:
    • Neighborhood driveway gatherings/ BBQ’s
    • Block parties
    • Community fesitvals
    • Charity events
    • Bartering and/or lending
    • Weekly family get-togethers at local park for informal soccer, softball, Frisbee, Capture-the-Flag, volleyball, etc.
    • Neighborhood improvement events, e.g.:
      • Trash pick up
      • Weed removal
      • Graffiti removal
      • Fence painting
    • Neighborhood garage sales
    • Neighborhood walks, runs, bike rides
    • Neighborhood outings to sporting events, playground, water parks, beach, lake, hiking trails, etc.
  • Facilitate networking, e.g.:
    • To help parents find babysitters
    • To help residents find someone to watch their house while they’re on vacation
    • To help residents find neighbors who share their interests, hobbies, sports, etc.
    • To help set up play groups
    • To help set up support groups
    • To help set up kids ‘clubs’:
      • Parents could take turns hosting neighborhood kids for meetings, homework sessions, special guests (crime prevention, avoiding drugs, etc.), etc.
      • Parents could take turns taking neighborhood kids on fun trips, like Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts but on a neighborhood, co-ed basis
  • Set up a web page for the residents on your block/street. It could include:
    • Useful information (see above)
    • Upcoming events
    • Map of neighborhood

For other opportunities to volunteer in your community:

Leave Feedback