Member Stories

Chicago’s Ashburn Neighborhood Hosts Community Celebration

Written by Jen Burke

Every day, we come across incredible stories of how neighbors are using Nextdoor to improve each other’s lives and their larger community.

One neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Nextdoor Ashburn, has done just that – in a big way.

Several months ago, we connected with Shaun Pinkston, the Founding Member and Lead of Nextdoor Ashburn, who has gone above and beyond to bring her community together. Taking the lead in finding ways to better connect her community, she started by introducing Nextdoor to her neighborhood. Since then, more than 1,400 Ashburn neighbors have joined Nextdoor to make a real change in their community.

Angela Daley, GADA Event Planning Chair (left), and Shaun Pinskton, GADA President, help represent Nextdoor.

According to Shaun, the Ashburn community has a long history of finding creative and impactful ways to obtain resources that could be used to support the local economy, address neighborhood safety concerns, improve integration efforts, and more.

Using Nextdoor, the community started hundreds of conversations around concerns in their community and planned meetings to start impacting change. Now, Ashburn has created a new initiative born out of their discussions on the platform, with the help of Shaun acting as GADA President, their alderman and a caring community of firemen, teachers, police officers, and other city workers: the Greater Ashburn Development Association (GADA).

GADA aims to further the common goals of the residents and businesses with organized collaborations and partnerships to attain city resources. One of the first initiatives GADA created is a series of “On the Table” conversations, where neighbors meet in person to discuss topics of interest with the end goal of making their community stronger.

Neighbors gather at the Extravaganza.

To celebrate the new association, Shaun and her Nextdoor community hosted Ashburn’s Summer Extravaganza this past weekend, where neighbors gathered to learn about different local businesses, enjoy each other’s company, and hear from expert speakers.

Our event was so special because it not only derived from the community organizing thoughts and concerns on Nextdoor to come together for common causes – including keeping our community safe – but it bred the creation of our local community association,” says Shaun. “Our community started with only five neighbors on Nextdoor. Today, we have more than 1,400 members, and several have talents unimagined, which has led to such a successful event being organized and promoted.”

Face painting at the community event.

Nextdoor has been instrumental in bringing them closer, but also inspires Shaun every day. “I’ve been to many networking events, not relative to our community, and people have walked up to me to ask if I was the same Shaun Pinkston from Nextdoor – it’s simply amazing,” she shares. “I am thoroughly enjoying what this means for us.”

We would like to thank Shaun and her Ashburn neighbors for using Nextdoor to the greatest of its potential: by taking meaningful online conversations and translating them into offline opportunities to bring their community together. We would also like to recognize Shaun and her amazing efforts to bring her community together the Nextdoor’s Good Neighbor Awards.

Congrats to Shaun and cheers to Nextdoor Ashburn!


Join your neighborhood on Nextdoor here.

Do you have a story about how you’ve used Nextdoor in your neighborhood? Let us know.

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