Abraham Walker grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana, a city with a small town feel. Everyone knows everyone in his neighborhood– it wouldn’t be peculiar for a neighbor to show up at your door unannounced to borrow a lawnmower or to ask how a doctor’s appointment went. Families with multiple generations live in the community, which adds to the feeling of connectedness within the neighborhood.
A few years ago, Abraham decided to move to Alexandria, Virginia, an area he soon learned has an extremely different feel to what he was used to in New Orleans. Most residents are not originally from Alexandria and moved there for the abundance of career opportunities available. He did not feel connected to his community and found it difficult to form deep bonds with neighbors that went further than saying hello in their housing complex.
To get better acclimated to the area and meet other like-minded residents, Abraham was looking to join a men’s group. Whether it was to partake in group activities, or just to socialize and discuss parenting, he wanted something that made it easy to find others with similar interests. After some research, Abraham didn’t find anything.
That’s when Abraham turned to Nextdoor. He knew the app would be an easy way to meet local folks in the area, so he posted a message asking if any men in his community would be interested in meeting up twice a month.
Abraham received over 50 responses and direct messages of eager neighbors interested in meeting up. Just a few weeks later, the group had their first hangout.
The group of men that attend the twice a month meetups are in all stages of life– some have young kids, some have grown children, some even with no children or have one on the way. They work in different industries and range in interests, but they all have one thing in common: a desire to foster friendships.
Abraham found that the other dads also struggled with making connections with other neighbors, especially men. When you move to a new area and start a family, it can be hard to find time and make new friendships. In fact, there have been numerous recent articles and studies about how feelings of loneliness and social isolation are on the rise across the country. Abraham knew that by creating such a group, he would not only benefit himself, but also have an opportunity to help others who were feeling the same way.
“With Nextdoor, you have the opportunity to connect with neighbors offline,” Abraham shared. “I hope I can spark more people to make meetup groups in their communities.”
At Nextdoor, we believe technology is a terrific ice breaker that helps us connect and get to know on another online so that meeting and interacting in the real world is made easier. Following Abraham’s lead, we’re encouraging neighbors everywhere to get offline and into the real world with their neighbors. What kind of group would you be interested in joining in your neighborhood? Tell us in the comments!
Socializing is almost always good for everyone, I’ve discovered. I’d love to join, and my only hesitation is that I may decide it’s not for me. I don’t want to leave the group and give the impression that it’s personal. The only way to the determine this, of course, is to give it a shot and see if I fit in.
Thanks for starting this. I’m new to STL and one of my favorite things about it is how friendly the people are.
Nice article. This shows the potential of Nextdoor to connect on and offline so that our actual lives benefit from the online experience.
How wonderful that Abraham took the initiative and reached out to fill a gap…so great that these connections have been developed and this would not have been possible without Nextdoor…
4 months later and the Dad’s/Guy’s group is still going.
We’re going on our 3rd field trip at the end of this month. By mixing the sessions up with coffee talks and field trips, it makes it easy for people to participate and not get burnt out.