“Won't you be my neighbor?”


Robert Runyon had lived in his home for 30 years, but he really didn't know many of his neighbors.”

This was the way an article titled “Welcome to the neighborhood” begam in an alumni journal.

And how true this is of many neighborhoods.

"Because so many of the people he met expressed a shared desire to better know their neighbors, Runyon, who was a retired dean emeritus of libraries at the University of Nebraska – Omaha decided it would be good to know his neighbors”.

He eventually contacted a Neighborhood Center agency operated by the University.

There are many here in Shorewood who would want to be involved in this type of neighborhood building. At the present time Shorewood's Caring Communities Partnership is our contact and has begun to perform that function.

It is doing this in relation to the needs of older adults. We shall soon find out that all age groups in neighborhood settings are going to be involved if the older adults are truly going to be integrated into neighborhoods.

The whole neighborhood must function as a sort of extended family, if community partnerships are going to work.  In Omaha the whole neighborhood became involved.

Here we are beginning with the seniors. But it is going to take all of us. And as we all become vital members of neighborhoods, Shorewood shall eventually becomes an unique community.

Runyon began by knocking on peoples' doors and introducing himself, asking “won't you be my neighbor?” Sounds corny, but perhaps all of us need to become kind-of “Mr. Rodgers.”

Maybe as we progress, we shall have a “Mr. Rodgers day” every couple of months when we introduce and re-introduce ourselves to our neighbors.

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