May 16th: National Do Something Nice for Your Neighbor Day

Katie Jones, Reporter

National Do Something Nice for Your Neighbor Day falls on Saturday, May 16th this year. How we traditionally serve others and how we spread joy has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, that doesn’t mean we can’t find other ways to serve and spread joy.

For an abundance of reasons, now is the perfect time to lend a hand to neighbors. The elderly or those with compromised immune systems may be especially worried about going out during this pandemic. 

A nice deed for a neighbor may look like picking up a few household items for them at stores such as Walmart or Target. In order to save time and gas, call beforehand to see if they have the items in stock as many common household items have been over purchased.

Another errand to run for those susceptible to the virus would be grocery shopping. It is not uncommon for people to forget key items from previous trips, so showing your willingness to run to the store is an extremely helpful gesture.

If going grocery shopping is not an ideal situation for you, cooking a meal could be a great alternative. Although it is a bit time consuming, a dish like lasagna is almost a guaranteed crowd pleaser. If you are unsure of whether or not the neighbor you are making the meal for eats meat, you could opt for a vegetable soup. This gesture will provide your neighbor with fast, reheatable meals.

Vegetable soup simmers in a large pot. Soup can be an easy food to make for a neighbor and they are easy to reheat. (Rusty Clark/CC BY 2.0)

During this process, it is important to remain aware of the rules about social distancing. When trying to get in contact with your neighbor about what they need, limit as many in person interactions by texting them instead of approaching them in person. When dropping the items or meal off, simply ring the doorbell and walk back from the door to ensure you are following social distancing guidelines.

This spring has been an especially rainy one, prompting lots of growth in yards. By mowing your neighbors yard, it would give them a  break from the never ending cycle of mowing. Additionally, for the elderly, it could ease the financial burdens of having to pay for a lawn service. As well as mowing, another option could be to pull weeds or plant flowers with their permission.

For your neighbors who continue to work amidst this pandemic, offering a hand to walk their dog is another great way to show appreciation towards them. It is quite likely a lot of essential workers are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted from the chaos and uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought, but you can help ease those feelings. By walking your neighbor’s dog, you will help them check one more thing off the list.

Dogs like people need exercise and this Golden Retriever puppy is no different. Helping a neighbor by walking their dog is an easy way to maintain safe social distancing and still do them a favor. (ccho/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Another way to acknowledge your appreciation for your neighbors is to take a bit of a more hands off approach and write them a card. The card does not have to be over the top or long winded, as a few nice words go a long way. If you are having trouble thinking of what to write, imagine what you would like to hear from your neighbor. If a card doesn’t seem like a large enough gesture, you could spice up the presentation and add an artistic touch by drawing or collaging.

Any gesture, no matter the size, is worth appreciating. There are many people feeling hopeless and alone during quarantine, but you can turn that around. A little kindness goes a long way, especially in these times.