National Night Out for Community Associations: Your Ticket to Community Partnership
National Night Out: it's one of the biggest community-building events of the year. While the rest of the nation typically celebrates National Night Out in August, throughout Texas and Florida, this event is held on the first Tuesday in October. If your community association hasn't participated in the past, it's a great time to start making plans for next year!
What is National Night Out?
It is a celebration of community. It's intended to build a partnership between police and communities and help make each community a safer place to live. Throughout many neighborhoods and communities, a wide range of events welcome members of the community and invite them to partner with law enforcement agencies to help increase knowledge, raise awareness, and create a relationship that will make it easier to come together in times of crisis.
What Can Your Community Do?
There are plenty of great events that your community can put together for National Night Out. Depending on the demographics of your community, you may want to highlight specific events to help appeal to your residents.
Hold a block party. Go all-out and throw a fun neighborhood block party--and invite the law enforcement officers in your community! Cookout together, create a neighborhood buffet and spread games across the yards within the community.
Create a parade. Do the members of your community love to come together for performances, create floats, or do other creative activities together? If so, a parade might be right up your alley. Take the time to host a parade through the neighborhoods of your HOA or through your community. Invite dancers, musicians, and others within the community to participate and show their stuff!
Host a safety demonstration. In many cases, the best thing you can do for your community is to invite police officers to come host a safety demonstration. There are plenty of areas in which your local officers can benefit the members of your community, including:
- Bike safety demonstrations, bike checks, helmet checks, and other bike safety measures
- K9 displays, including how children and adults should interact with a working dog
- Car seat safety checks and demonstrations for parents with young children
- How to respond in the event of a home break-in
- A 911 demonstration for young children
Meet the officer. Some children in your community may be intimidated by public servants. A simple meet the officer day at your HOA clubhouse is a great way to help them meet the people who are serving them and help quiet some of those fears.
Hold a cookout. You don't have to go all out with your block party to have a fun cookout! Invite everyone to hook up their grills and prepare their favorite dishes. For that matter, turn it into a cook-off: invite your community members to see who can make the best chili, challenge them to make the best dessert, or try a fun barbecue cook-off challenge. Be sure to invite your local public safety officers!
Have a festival. What type of festival will excite the members of your community? Would they love to come together over food or display their heritage? Have a festival that will appeal to all of the members of your community, inviting them to show their best to the public servants in your area.
Create a youth event. Young people often struggle to find activities that will keep them engaged and out of trouble. By hosting a youth event, you can help increase their appreciation for public servants and encourage them to become better citizens.
National Night Out is a great way to increase that spirit of community and encourage the members of your HOA to participate, get to know local public servants, and more. How will your association participate in the coming year?