MU Extension Greene County Celebrates Good Neighbor Week By Handing Out Thousands Of Dollars In Prizes

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – The University of Missouri, Greene County extension celebrated Good Neighborhood Week until Saturday, handing out thousands of dollars in prizes.

Project creator David Burton is the County Engagement Specialist for MU Extension Greene County. He said the effort is important because America is in an asocial crisis.

“We have an epidemic of loneliness,” Burton said. “In America, some studies show that up to 40% of Americans say they feel lonely.”

This week, many cities in America are celebrating Good Neighborhood Week. Burton said connecting with your neighbors can help feelings of loneliness.

“People who have social connections with their neighbors are more likely not to get sick, eight times more likely to recover from surgery,” Burton said. “There are many health-related studies that focus on the quality of your social relationships and the importance of that.”

MU Extension Greene County provides neighborhood grants for community events.

But this week, they’re handing out thousands of dollars in prizes to people who show kindness to their neighbors.

Burton said many have made the pledge.

“We documented 1,520 neighborhood acts this morning,” Burton said. “People across the state bring in almost 5,000.”

Mindy Hoops, said her new subdivision applied for the grant by hosting a block party.

“We just had a block party,” Hoops said. “It’s a brand new subdivision, so we thought it would be a good way to meet the neighbors.

Hoops said the application was so easy and helpful that they want to go deeper into the program.

“We hope to be able to do this every year, if not several times a year, for July 4th or Halloween,” Hoops said. “Just getting to know people and making new friends.”

Burton said a larger goal of the project is to do more for the community.

“When you build these relationships, it gives people a sense of community where they live,” Burton said. “And also the people who take the initiative to do it, sometimes realize that they have leadership skills that can be used in a larger context. Maybe for the whole neighborhood, maybe for the community.

To apply for the Engage Neighbor program, visit the MU Extension Greene County website or contact David Burton.

To report a correction or typo, please send an email [email protected]

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