Name: Andrew Whalen
Neighborhood Group: Northeast Neighbors United
Your work as one of the leaders in your Neighborhood Group is important because:
There are so many opportunities to get connected to all that’s happening in the City and with the people in our neighborhood. I help neighbors reconnect with each other through events and discover that City living is much better when you experience it together.
Challenges that you are facing in your neighborhood right now:
We are facing two challenges. One is litter. Even with a handful of good neighbors working overtime to make a difference, the problem does not go away. It’s everywhere!
The other is finding the best way to reach out to our neighbors. Despite a strong presence on social media, there is no substitution for face to face conversations. Unfortunately, we are busy people who have forgotten how to be neighborly.
What are some of the rewards from being a neighborhood connector in your Group:
I get excited when my neighbors get excited about adopting a block, planting a tree, decorating for the holidays, planning a house party, helping out a neighbor or supporting a local business. The biggest reward is when others, who share my love for the neighborhood, step up and create a better place.
Can you give a specific example of how your neighborhood has worked together?
National Night Out is a BIG deal in our neighborhood. Everyone wants to help! We get volunteers to serve hot dogs, facepaint or lead game time. We have many neighbors who are involved in organizations that serve the community — I love when they come out and share all about it with their neighbors.
What is your secret to meeting new neighbors and welcoming them into the community?
We live on a busy street and see lots of people coming and going. If I’m working in my yard, I’ll just look up and say hello. If I’m grilling, I’ll offer to throw another burger on the grill — a couple of neighbors have taken me up on that! In the winter, it may be as simple as helping someone shovel their sidewalk.
Favorite way to spend a day with family, or friends in Lancaster City:
We have many favorite places we love to visit as a family and with our friends. We usually start our Saturday morning at Central Market, weather permitting we spend the rest of our morning in our yard reading or gardening, hopefully we will have dinner at our favorite Himalayan Curry and Grill (or one of the many stops on a Taste the World Tour), and we like to end our evening with a walk around the neighborhood.