When Missouri Governor Mike Parsons signed HB1738 on July 1, Missouri became the first state to designate a whole week for celebrating neighbors.

The bill’s language designated Missouri Good Neighbor Week starting on National Good Neighbor Day, September 28 and continuing for six days. Nodaway County hopes to have several nominations.

In 1978, US President Jimmy Carter designated National Good Neighbor Day as a day to raise public awareness that good neighbors help achieve human understanding and build strong, thriving communities.

University of Missouri Extension and The Hopeful Neighborhood Project are working together to energize the celebration of Missouri Good Neighbor Week, September 28 through October 4 this year.

This year’s goal is to document 10,000 acts of neighboring in Missouri that week and to recognize the best neighbors in every Missouri county. #mogoodneighbors.

During the designated week, every person who reports an act of neighboring will be entered into a random drawing for prizes and receive a neighboring memento by mail. The best examples are eligible for county prizes and special statewide awards.

Efforts to celebrate the 2021 good neighbor day primarily in the Springfield area, resulted in over 5,300 acts of neighboring being reported and celebrated statewide.

Winners of the 2021 statewide “Top Neighbor” community awards included Milton and Judith Moore, a rural Missouri couple, who prepared 13 quarts of homemade hot cocoa mix for delivery to their neighbors, some of who lived miles away.

Elaine Montgomery, Springfield, organized a Socialize and Safe Disposal event in north Springfield with donuts, coffee and lemonade for the 95 who attended. Neighbors brought documents like old bank statements and outdated confidential paperwork for professional and secure shredding.

Further details about the challenge, ideas of how to neighbor, and links for reporting acts of neighboring or nominating the top neighbor in the area can be found at missourigoodneighborweek.com.

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