Washington School Neighbors – H.O.P.E.

Hope is a word that many people reach for in uncertain life circumstances. Hope can provide a steady faith that everything will work out according to what is best for your life. Beyond this view of hope being a kind of faith that things will work out, hope can also undergird our mission to create value in the lives of our neighbors.

What if HOPE stood for Host Opportunities and Provide Encouragement? This forms the basis for what Washington School Neighbors seeks to accomplish in the neighborhood surrounding Hope Church through our Block Connectors. We recently met with some 15 households that have a desire to become more invested in their neighbors’ lives by becoming Block Connectors. Block Connectors are an important part of our neighborhood as they work to connect smaller groups of residents by forming relationships, communicating needs or concerns, and creating places to gather and serve within our outreach area. This is where the first part of the “H.O.P.E.” acronym comes into play…

Host Opportunities. For many, busyness is a way of life. When we keep ourselves continually busy, even for good reasons such as for our job or for our families, we can miss out on relationships that are meant to enrich our lives and open our eyes to those living around us. Washington School Neighbors equips Block Connectors to host events and opportunities designed to foster relationships. One way we do this is through the provision of seasonal themed block boxes, which are kits that may include all the pieces for a craft project, cups, plates, beverage mixes and we even print the invites. Washington School Neighbors wants to make the process of gathering with your neighbors as simple as just opening your home and being present to meet other neighbors who share a vision for living life in community.

Provide Encouragement. The second half of the H.O.P.E. acronym has the same goal of building relationships and highlights an area that WSN also wants to facilitate. If we can provide encouragement to residents to use their gifts and talents in a way that benefits the entire community, then value is added to the neighborhood. We all have gifts that we have been equipped with that are meant to be shared with those around us. This could be something as simple as time. In order to reach all of the people that live within our outreach area, we need individuals to give of their time, such as Block Connectors who help to deliver our quarterly newsletters to some 500 households. We have been encouraged by the neighbors who have shown a desire to invest in the Washington School Neighborhood on a deeper level through our Block Connector teams. In turn these Block Connectors are reaching out to their neighbors to provide encouragement and continue the cycle of giving. Sometimes all people need is a little encouragement.

When we look to planning events for the coming year, what opportunities can you envision being a part of? What kind of an event would make you set aside busyness to gather with your neighbors and possibly form new relationships? How can WSN encourage you in your life and in the ways that you may want to play a larger role in your neighborhood? We exist to make this diverse neighborhood richer through listening to your needs and empowering you to bring about change.

Please feel free to let us know what types of events you would like to see us host and the ways in which we can encourage you. Christen@washingtonschoolneighbors.com or Lisa@washingtonschoolneighbors.com.

Also, we are still looking for neighbors within the WSN area that want to become Block Connectors. If you are interested, our next meeting is Tuesday, March 27th from 5:30-7 pm at Herrick Library.

~Lisa Kasten, Neighborhood Connector