Observed every year on September 28th, National Good Neighbor Day is a reminder that we all play a role in strengthening our local communities. It began in 1978, when President Jimmy Carter designated National Good Neighbor Day as a celebration of “the bonds that cement our nation” and a reminder that caring for our neighbors is one of the most important things we can do.  Now to show your support towards building this sense of community you can even take the "Good Neighbor Pledge" online to promise you will be a person who "lives with kindness and concern for my neighbors."

Having a community to rely on is critical. Encouragingly, recent research polls have underlined how the uncertainty of today’s world has spurred a greater sense of solidarity in our local neighborhoods. 

Making communities matter
Many of us have experienced something similar over the last 18 months: a stronger sense of neighborliness, with new relationships forged and communities brought closer together. People who previously shared only a zip code are now joining together in a variety of neighborhood activities. Others, less visibly, are choosing to dropoff supplies or simply shouting good wishes if they feel more comfortable maintaining social distance. 

Social networking service Nextdoor partnered with leading researchers on a study looking into how small acts of kindness like these can reduce loneliness in neighborhoods. Participants were asked to perform simple acts, such as having regular contact with their neighbors, showing care and concern or contributing to a larger community effort, action, or activity.

The results revealed that just knowing six neighbors reduces the likelihood of feeling lonely and can lower depression, social anxiety, and even financial concerns. Those small acts could be as simple as a wave.

Little acts of kindness really do go a long way in times of crisis. So, if you’re looking for the best way to help out your local community right now, here are a few ideas to help you to be a good neighbor on National Good Neighbor Day.

  • Get connected
    If you haven’t already, introduce yourself to local residents and get connected with others in your neighborhood. All it takes to get started is a simple “hello.”
  •  Show awareness
    Stay alert to the safety, security and wellbeing of the people and homes around you. Everyone is safer and stronger together, in any neighborhood.
  • Be available
    Showing up to support others is the sign of a great neighbor. Anything from pet-sitting to taking out the garbage for elderly residents can make a big difference.
  • Bring people together
    Call on neighbors to join you for a meal or help to organize a community cookout. Food, drink and fun games are a great way to build strong relationships.
  • Start a project
    Would a community garden or similar civic project help to bring outdoor space in your area to life? Take the initiative and volunteer to get the ball rolling.

Taking action

Here at New York Life, the essence of our business is serving others. That’s why the New York Life Foundation actively fosters a culture of volunteerism and community involvement, inspiring real change through a wide array of programs and grants.

Our corporate volunteer program, Volunteers for Good, promotes opportunities for our workforce to serve the communities where they work and live. Giving time and expertise, we collaborate with hundreds of charitable organizations and help coordinate volunteer projects every year to address community needs across the country.

September is New York Life’s Month of Service which provides employees and agents with an opportunity to demonstrate who we are and how we live our values by giving back to our communities.    The New York Life Foundation hosted virtual webinars that kicked off month-long volunteer opportunities to participate in independently throughout the month.  There were also virtual volunteering events that granted participants funds they could use to donate to a charity of their choice.


Explore a collection of inspiring stories that highlight the power of our collective action here, and find out how to apply for our engagement programs and grants here.

Go back to our newsroom to read more stories.

Media contact
Lacey Siegel
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937

Related content