Invite Your Neighbors to a Driveway Social

Unlike European cities, most American cities were designed to maximize the efficient movement of people (to and from work). This narrow focus on efficiency has resulted with many cities having few public places (squares, plazas, etc) where people can casually meet and nurture friendships and acquaintances. Consequently, we have fewer opportunities to get to know those people that live within our reach and, for many; this lack of contact can lead to a more solitary and lonely existence. Conversely, people that are socially connected within their community tend to be happier, healthier and live longer. Additionally, active communities present a less attractive target for criminals. So it appears that the ticket to a happier existence and a safer community is a more active and connected community. Now how do we create it?

To help create more opportunities to casually meet (considering the sparsity of public spaces in many cities) we suggest that during spring, summer and fall that residents organize and convert their driveways to Saturday morning coffee and donuts get-togethers. We refer to these gatherings as Driveway Socials. Here's how to start:

  1. Find a few like-minded neighbors to help fund the gathering (figure $30 - $40 for coffee and donuts)
  2. Use the PDF creator below to make fliers. Deliver 80 or so to households in the immediate area around your home.
  3. You and your co-hosts invite a couple of personal friends that you can count on to show up so that you create the "Hey, there's a party!" allure for neighbors passing by.
  4. If you are using the LicenseLook email capabilities you can easily post a message in the email prior to the gathering.

Here are some suggestions for the day of the gathering:

  1. Saturday works better than Sunday
  2. 8:30 to 10:30 are good hours
  3. Try to borrow a coffee thermos or two or have your HOA invest in a couple to loan out
  4. Consider cutting the donuts in half (fewer calories and they last longer). A dozen donuts goes a long way in California (your mileage may vary in other states)
  5. Bring out a radio and play some music
  6. Provide name tags for your guests
  7. Have a a number of folding chairs for elderly neighbors
  8. Have a sign-in sheet for neighbors to give their address and email for future gatherings

If you have suggestions for other PDF collateral that we might supply please let us know.