We had lived in our new home just a few weeks when we got a flyer on our door about an upcoming National Night Out event in our neighborhood. Having never heard of National Night Out before, we were curious – and eager to meet our neighbors – so we attended the event. We are so glad we did! It was there that we met many of the families who live around us and had the opportunity to engage with local law enforcement. Not to mention, our son (2 years old at the time) LOVED getting to see and experience a police car and fire truck up close.
What is National Night Out (NNO)? I’m glad you asked! NNO is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. Millions of people in communities across all fifty states take part in NNO each year. The state of Texas celebrates National Night Out on the first Tuesday in October - this year on Tuesday, October 3rd.
There are multiple ways to participate in NNO:
1. Join in an event that is already planned in your neighborhood or city
2. Organize and plan your own neighborhood NNO event as a family
3. Plan and host a NNO event as a life group in the neighborhood where your group meets weekly.
Like the idea of engaging with your neighbors, but want to try something different? If you are not able to participate in an official NNO event, why not try to plan your own block party within your neighborhood. Pinterest is full of great ideas! Or host a party for your child’s sports team or school classmates and invite the families to your house. Nights like this are a great excuse to gather your neighbors and introduce (or reintroduce) yourself, get to know each other better and build a strong sense of community with those living closest to you.
Whichever way you decide to be involved, make a choice to be intentional in conversations by asking questions and listening well. Offer to pray for people. Don’t let your neighborhood involvement end with the event. Afterward, make notes about people that you met/spoke with. Who can you follow up with? Invite over for dinner? Invite to your life group? Invite to church?
For more information, to find a NNO event or for a ‘How To’ guide to start planning one, check out the National Night Out page on the 121 website.