Dirk and I are proud homeowners in the Helm Farm neighborhood. We recently became friends with one of our neighbors, Cassidy, who has been working diligently to revive our Neighborhood Association. We met Cassidy on a cold and rainy April morning in 2019. She literally HAND DELIVERED invitations to a neighborhood “litter blitz” asking for residents to spend just 1 hour of their time picking up trash.

Just call us “trash humans”

We love our ‘hood, and we didn’t have anything else going on that day, so we figured it would be a good opportunity to do something productive while meeting other neighbors. After all, we had been living in Helm Farm for a year and a half and barely knew the people on either side of us.

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After braving the rain to pick up other people’s garbage, I sat in Cassidy’s living room chit chatting about her involvement with the Neighborhood Alliance, the “problem” house across the street, and her efforts to reduce crime in the area. I admit that I was impressed with this 27 year old who had so much passion for her community and had already built relationships with FAR more neighbors than I had in just the 9 months she had been living here. She was energetic, knowledgeable, and motivated. A real “get shit done” kind of girl. I appreciate people like that.

It started with a flop

We quickly found common ground in our desire to do good in our neighborhood. Cassidy wasted no time adding me to her regular list of text threads. We started brainstorming about community events and ways to bring more people together in our area.

We started by hosting a Neighborhood Safety Meeting Q&A with local police officers. Having only advertised it on the NextDoor app, we had a whopping 1 – count it – *1* person show up outside of Dirk & myself, Cassidy and her boyfriend Joe. We laughed that we had more police officers (3) show up than residents! But we didn’t let that stop us from trying again.

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Tailgate Grill & Chill

We spent the next few weeks planning the 2nd Annual Helm Farm Neighbors Night Out. September 10th is actually a city-wide NNO event encouraged by the Neighborhood Alliance. Each neighborhood registers their event/location with the City, local police make the rounds to meet the community members, and Neighborhood Alliance provides materials for the event. The theme for Helm Farm was “Tailgate Grill & Chill.” We cooked hotdogs and gave out prizes for Best Tailgate Costume.

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Out of 500+ houses located in the Helm Farm neighborhood, we had a turnout of about 30-ish people. It was a small group, but at least there was participation! I am grateful to those who showed up, and I look forward to building on what we’ve started. None of it would have happened without the motivation and follow through of my neighbor-turned-friend, Cassidy.