HARDWICK – Twenty-two people from Hardwick and Walden met on October 24, at the Hardwick Senior Center to get updates from the leaders of Neighbor to Neighbor: Helen Beattie, Diane Grenkow and Kim Hartling-Wells, and to share a meal.
Although there are ongoing needs for help after July’s flooding, direct requests to Neighbor-to-Neighbor have tapered off.
That creates the opportunity to discuss what more the organization can do to strengthen the Hardwick area neighborhood and community connections in the long term.
An immediate focus will include outreach to the many existing disaster response organizations. This is timely because Hardwick’s Local Emergency Management Plan is being reviewed and revised. By gathering information about other organization’s experiences this summer, Neighbor to Neighbor hopes to find strategies for improved communication and collaboration.
Looking back at highlights of the organization’s past efforts, five neighborhood gatherings were attended by 211 people in June 2022. Building on that success, a working group is forming to host a dinner for Hardwick residents in 2024. After a free meal, members of specific neighborhoods will break out into groups to discuss 2023 successes and discuss opportunities to strengthen connections. A key question is how best to reach more people.