There are many ways to be a good neighbor in your neighborhood, larger community, and the world, in the month of November, but I’m focusing on just five here.
Before I do, this November is a big presidential election month; check out earlier posts on how to be a good neighbor at election time. Number one is voting, and next is getting along with others both online and off while discussing political viewpoints.
Here are the five suggestions for November:
- Honor Our Veterans: Sunday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day; show you care by attending a local Veterans Day parade or special event. See the Watsonville Veterans Day Parade starting at 9:30 a.m. The parade starts at St. Patrick's Church at Ford and Main streets. A ceremony begins at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building, 215 E. Beach St. The largest Veterans Day parade in Northern California is in downtown San Jose. A special ceremony takes place “at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month” at Plaza de Cesar Chavez on Market Street, in honor of the 1918 Armistice of the “War to End All Wars.” The Parade begins at noon, traveling east along Santa Clara Street to Market Street, then south toward the reviewing stand at Park Street, opposite Plaza de Cesar Chavez.
- Support Current Soldiers and Their Families: The American Red Cross is once again organizing its Holiday Mail for Heroes program. The organization is accepting notes and cards for soldiers through Dec. 7. See the website for complete instructions on what to write and how to ship the cards. Write a few yourself, or organize your friends or community group to create and send big batches. November is also Military Family Appreciation Month, to show support for the spouses, children, and other loved ones of service members. See the National Military Family Association website for an excellent list of ways you can help these families cope with sometimes extraordinary circumstances. For ways to help service people, veterans, and military family members find employment, see the Joining Forces website.
- Visit a Holiday Craft Fair or Bazaar at Your Local Church/School/Community Center: Groups all over are putting on holiday craft fairs this month to raise funds, or support local crafters and artisans. It’s a great way to get a jump on holiday shopping while supporting local groups and micro businesses at the same time. It’s also a nice way to get to know more people in your community. Don't miss the Heritage Holiday Craft and Gift Fair, Nov. 20 through Dec. 2, at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. Proceeds benefit the Santa Cruz County Fair Heritage Association.
Find ways 4 and 5 at the Good Neighbor Stories website! Got a way to be a good neighbor in December? Let us know in the comments section.