Planned communities can be large or small, upscale or average, urban or rural, or somewhere in between. However, they share a common thread because they are all inhabited by people who are members of the world at large. Community Managers can encourage a sense of community by offering programs within the association as well as outreach programs aimed locally, nationally or world-wide.
Boards and community managers can encourage programs and activities that enrich life within the community. If your community is fortunate enough to have a clubhouse, it can be the site of many activities for the residents. A group of volunteers can get the ball rolling and create activities that become highly anticipated annual events. Some ideas are community covered dish dinners and social events, book clubs, card clubs, cultural or sports trips, exercise classes, and art shows.
Other activities could include a holiday party, Fourth of July parade, community pool party, community yard sale, Halloween parade, Fire Safety presentation by the local fire department, bicycle safety presentation by a local bicycle store, scavenger hunt, community clean-up day, and community picnic.
Be sure to notify your local newspaper in advance of your activities. Reporters are often eager to report good news from the communities within their readership.
Encourage your homeowners to let their community make its mark in the world by being an active, involved group. There is something very satisfying about helping others and giving back through volunteer work. Community outreach can include: providing a polling place for governmental elections, holding Meet-The-Candidate nights, holding Red Cross Blood Drives, hosting a charity drive or other charity fundraisers, storm relief efforts and holiday outreach to local charities.
The sense of community created by these efforts far outweighs the time involved in bringing them about. People yearn to be involved and connected and community associations are the perfect setting to foster that sense of caring.
Donna Cawthorne, CMCA, AMS, PCAM
Mid-Atlantic Management Corporation