Neighbor to Neighbor Bolton - A new organization
The idea for the Neighbor to Neighbor Bolton grew out of concern about the difficulty and isolation many Bolton residents faced after the big ice storm in 2008. Many residents were trapped in their homes without heat or electricity. The police were cut off from part of the town. Most neighbors had no plan for communicating with each other or helping each other. It became clear that a stronger community connection was something that could benefit all of us.
Through the initial meetings to discuss Neighbor to Neighbor Bolton, we realized that greater neighborhood community could help us not only in times of town-wide emergency, but also in everyday situations.
The new program is loosely modeled after some programs that area churches use to keep their members connected and cared for. We’ve divided the town into small neighborhoods of about 20-40 households, usually street by street. Each neighborhood will have one or two street “captains” to coordinate communication for the neighborhood.
Street captains will personally contact each of the households in their neighborhood and get contact information for everyone who chooses to participate. The exact nature and character of the program will vary from street to street, depending on the wishes of the residents. Some streets will have regular potlucks and block parties; some will interact only on an as-needed basis. Many neighborhoods will create a plan for communicating during an emergency, regularly check in with senior citizens who live alone, welcome newcomers to the neighborhood, or drop off meals for people returning from the hospital or dealing with prolonged illness.
Mary Boyd and Terry Abdalian met before the Selectmen to explain the program and ask for their approval. The Selectmen said that they supported the program and gave their approval.
If you’d like more information or you’d like to volunteer as a street captain, please contact Mary Boyd at 978-779-2740 or Pat Bensetler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*See Neighbor to Neighbor Map below to see neighborhood designations and captains. If there is no captain for your neighbor, consider becoming one. It is fun and rewarding and a great way to meet your neighbors!
*Neighbor to Neighbor flyers below are for the captains to use to introduce the program to your neighbors. Download the word doc or pdf and enter the contact information for your neighborhood. Change it if you like, it is for you to use as you choose.
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