Traditionally speaking, fall is a time when communities gather together to harvest crops, prepare for winter and celebrate the holidays. While times have changed a bit, and through we may not be banding together to bring in a full field of food (although you probably had an overzealous neighbor that tried to unload a copious amount of zucchini on you), fall is still an ideal time to bust out the sweaters, get outside and spend some time with the members of your community. How, and why, should the HOA help to facilitate this, you say? We’re so glad you asked.
Events and activities that bring homeowners and their families together strengthen the sense of community among residents, as well as promoting a feeling of pride in the place that they all call home. These events also go a long way to show members of the neighborhood that the HOA truly does have their best interests in mind and is actually working to better their lives, as well as their neighbors’. Here are a few simple ideas that can be easily implemented in your community, that will have your members shouting with glee, “it’s fall, y’all!”
Rally members of your neighborhood to get out and on their wheels while the weather is still on their side. A bike parade is a great way to get members of your community outside and having fun together, with minimal planning and nearly no cost to the HOA or participants.
Plan a route that covers the majority of your community, this way, you are including everyone, as well as giving your residents a chance to explore neighborhood streets that they might not often cruise. Spread the word through your community newsletter and social media, encouraging all, young and old alike, to come out and ride around the neighborhood. Be sure that all community members are aware of the specifics of the event, so that even if they choose not to ride, they can cheer on riders from their porches or yards. Depending on the exact time in the coming weeks that you decide to host your event, you could encourage participants to dress in costumes, or decorate their bicycles, tricycles, scooters, vespas, whatever, according to a theme.
Organize a Community Food Drive
With the holidays fast approaching, many food banks begin to see a drastic rise in the need for donations. Take this as an opportunity to get your community together for a great cause. Ask residents to donate nonperishable items, like canned goods, dried pastas, etc. You may even want to check in with your local food banks and ask what specific items they are in most need of and then spread this information out to your community. Social media can be a great tool for this endeavour. You will need to decide on the length of your dive, as well as a donation location(s) and recruit volunteers from within your community to help with collection, organization and delivery. To further incentivize your community (because sometimes, being a good human being is simply not enough incentive on its own), organize a raffle, with each item donated receiving a raffle ticket to be entered in a drawing for fabulous prizes. It is likely that you have business owners within your community that would be willing to donate prizes for an event like this.
Pumpkin Carving Contest
Step into the spooky season, by asking your community members to show off their artistic side. Have residents carve their own pumpkins and then bring them to the community center, club house or other suitable building where they can be displayed and other community members can vote for their favorite gourd. Depending on the level of interest and participation, you may want to consider separate contests for kids and adults. Let’s face it, Herbert at the end of the street could get pretty ticked off if he gets shown up by the eight year old around the corner. Winners can have bragging rights to lord over the cul-de-sac, or actual prizes or trophies, if you so choose.