In honor of National Good Neighbor Day on Sunday, September 27th, we asked you to recognize and thank the people who give back to your local community by nominating them for our Good Neighbor Awards.
We received thousands of submissions from across the country, and we were touched by all of the stories we’ve heard of good neighbors making a difference in their communities.
In fact, we received so many incredible submissions that we decided to increase the number of winners from five to ten! It was incredibly difficult to narrow the list down, and the committee at Nextdoor reviewed each submission multiple times before making a decision. We’re inspired by all of the good neighbors across the country who were nominated!
Read on for the stories from the winners below (in no particular order), and thank you to everyone who shared with us how your neighbors have changed your life for the better.
From all of us at Nextdoor, we hope you enjoy National Good Neighbor Day this Sunday!
2015 National Good Neighbor Award Winners
Andrew Lucas, Akron, OH
According to Andrew’s neighbor, Eric, Andrew does so much to enhance Highland Square and bring their neighbors together. Through Andrew’s efforts he was able to petition the city to demolish an old, unsafe, abandoned apartment building. In its place, he created the Edgerton Community Garden. The garden has more than 25 plots to grow plants and veggies, a large community green space for neighbors to gather and a beautiful flower garden for others to admire. As the garden came together, Andrew encouraged neighbors to get involved and get to know one another. It didn’t stop there. Andrew holds community events in the garden. He partnered with the neighborhood Children’s Library branch for a garden story time led by the librarian. He has scheduled “Ask a master gardener day,” yoga in the garden, badminton, and more. All this in less than a year! Eric is thankful for the garden Andrew created, “it’s more than just a garden, it’s a neighborhood gathering spot.”
Paul, Austin, TX
When Paul, a neighbor in Austin, Texas, saw his neighbor’s home on fire, he didn’t hesitate. He jumped into action, calling the Austin Fire Department and saving both his neighbors and their beloved home. As his neighbor Allison said in her nomination, “Good neighbor? No…great neighbor. Literally saved my life and we barely knew him! Thanks again, Paul!”
Elizabeth Taylor, Colorado Springs, CO
According to neighbor Jennifer, Elizabeth has been a constant source of support for her family. Elizabeth has pulled weeds in the yard when Jennifer was sick, given her a hug when she’s having a bad day, walked her kids to school because Jennifer had to leave town for a sick family member, and most recently – and maybe most importantly – she was there to help when Jennifer’s son started choking. Elizabeth, asleep midday because she works the night shift at the hospital, was awakened by Jennifer and came running to help. She came over right as firefighters were arriving and comforted both mother and baby. According to Jennifer, “she has done so much in such a short time and is always so kind!”
Rae and Joe Sprow, Bradenton, FL
The Sprow family are, according to their neighbor Diane, the most “loving, selfless, giving people.” Together, they started a nonprofit called Neighbors Helping Neighbors, collecting usable furniture, household goods, and clothing for anyone who may need the items. Diane told us how the Sprows are always available to do home repairs, sewing, and cooking to help others in need. They often open their home to homeless individuals for warm food, clean clothing, and help contacting social services. As Diane says, the Sprows “deserve to be recognized as good neighbors.”
Edward Stavola, San Antonio, TX
LeAnn, a neighbor in San Antonio, Texas, wrote in a heartfelt note about why her neighbor, Edward Stavola, deserves to win a Good Neighbor Award. Just a few days ago, her special needs son was hit by a car in the neighborhood while LeAnn was at work. Edward “went completely out of his way” to comfort LeAnn’s son, calling the paramedics, sitting with him, and riding in the ambulance to the hospital while LeAnn drove to meet them. Edward and LeAnn had previously never met, but LeAnn wrote that she is “grateful for him and his unconditional kindness and concern for others.” LeAnn put it simply: “it’s people like this who show all of us what a real neighbor is.”
Carrie Bishop, Mobile, AL
Carrie’s a good neighbor hailing from Mobile, Alabama, and she recently stepped up to stop a fire from spreading to her neighbor, Debi’s, home. It was late at night when she spotted a garbage can on fire next to the home. She attempted to call the house, but neither Debi nor her husband woke up – they were fast asleep. Undeterred, Carrie called 911 and then ran over to the home to wake up Debi and her family. By that time, the side of the house had caught fire. Thankfully, the Mobile Fire Department was able to put out the fire with limited damage to the home, and Debi’s family was safe. But Carrie didn’t stop there: she offered to let Debi and her family stay with her if they needed a place to stay while the home was repaired. As Debi writes, “Carrie is ALWAYS uplifting and happy…we love her!”
Daryl Kostka, Irvine, CA
Daryl’s neighbor, Tunlinh, is so grateful for the unwavering support of her good neighbor during an incredibly difficult time in her life. After Tunlinh’s husband was diagnosed with advanced cancer, Daryl stepped up in every way that she could – she walked the dogs so Tunlinh could stay by her husband’s side at the hospital, cooked and delivered food to Tunlinh, and during her husband’s final stages, Daryl showed up with flowers and prayers. Following her husband’s death, Tunlinh has found much comfort in the support of her neighbor, and now dear friend. Daryl has invited her to volunteer at various non-profits and goes on long walks with her and the dogs. “To me, Daryl is the best neighbor I will ever know,” Tunlinh says.
Agnes and Robert Louie, Henderson, NV
After suffering a severe asthma attack, Susan was gasping for breath and alone at home but in need of help. She called her neighbors, the Louie family, and briefly explained what happened. Within minutes, they were at her door, faster than an ambulance could have made it. They whisked her off to the hospital and checked her in. They stayed by her side the entire day, without hesitation. According to Susan, “I am so grateful and feel so blessed to have my guardian angels live next door! Like a good neighbor…the Louie family was there for me.”
Todd Breyer, Nashville, TN
More than 30 neighbors nominated Todd for his help in beautifying areas in their Sylvan Park neighborhood, specifically Richland Park that is centered around a community library. According to his neighbors, Todd has taken it upon himself to plant new trees, plants and flowers for others to enjoy. On top of that he waters the plants and gardens daily and picks up litter, often encouraging other neighbors to join in. Neighbors are inspired and thankful for his dedication, “He has made such a difference in the appearance of this park, and has done so unselfishly and without asking for or accepting any credit, said Judy B. And her neighbor, Brenda G. agrees, “Todd has made our part of the world even more pleasant.”
Michael Hamilton, Oakland, CA
According to his neighbor Bonnie, Michael isn’t just a good neighbor, he’s a fantastic neighbor. About three months ago Michael and his wife were the victims of a horrific crime. As retaliation for chasing them off their property earlier, a group of people came back and shot out the windows of their home and car, then slashed its tires. Fortunately, Michael and his wife were not hurt. It’s what they did next that really impressed Bonnie: they used Nextdoor to invite neighbors to a BBQ potluck in their front yard the next night, asking them to come together in solidarity to show they would not be intimidated by such harassment. Nearly 100 neighbors showed up, and it was an opportunity for Nextdoor neighbors to meet in person for the first time and strengthen bonds within the neighborhood.