Every year, Edy's Ice Cream sponsors their Neighborhood Salute contest. You have to write a very short essay describing your neighborhood and why you think you deserve an ice cream block party. I was surprised and elated to win, and even though we moved during the time between the submission and the party, I think my winning essay was still applicable to our new place:
Apartment complexes, despite bringing people together from all sorts of backgrounds into a small geographic area, can be lonely places. Though we are surrounded on all sides by a diverse group of neighbors, we rarely get a chance to speak. Our neighbors are in a hurry--rushing from work and errands and often coming home and shutting the door on possible friendships. It's a transient lifestyle to be sure, with people moving in and out so quickly, but even the ones who stay keep to themselves. We are on a mission to change that! We want to intentionally build community where we live. Thankfully, we've gotten to know our across-the-hall neighbors, a family from Mexico, fairly well since they moved in three years ago. But we would love to build more of a community here. We'd like to visit with the Katrina refugees down the hall and introduce our son to their dog. We'd like to chat with the Korean mother and daughter longer than a few minutes in the parking lot on Sunday mornings. We want to find out about where they come from and what they want from life and how we can help! What better way to stop the rush, slow down, and get to know each other than over a bowl of Edy's ice cream? Since our complex is large, we hope to just start with our building. Perhaps this one small event will encourage the other residents to get to know their neighbors, too!
The dozen containers of ice cream were shipped to us in dry ice an we had to go to the UPS center to pick it up, but it was worth it! Since we'd become a CARES Team, we handed out the ice cream during our Pool Party as part of an Apartment Life event, and everyone enjoyed it. However, I am horrible at remembering to take pictures at events, usually because I'm too busy and distracted, so all you get is one of me and Bill & Kitti handing out the ice cream. But there were a ton of folks who lined up to enjoy their scoops.
This year's contest ends in a few weeks, so enter now! Visit Edy's Neighborhood Salute for YOUR chance to win! (And remember, they make amazing LIGHT ice cream as well, so even if you're watching your calories, it's worth it to enter for the chance to share some happiness with your friends!)