My first week living in L.A. as a new intern, I went door-to-door with fellow volunteers bringing new church visitors cookies. I liked the idea of the Southern charm being delivered door to door but we were met with reactions as if we were sociopaths.
So when my husband and I first moved into our neighborhood, we did the same thing to introduce ourselves to the neighbors. We were met with similar responses. We tried again years later as we moved to a new neighborhood. It’s not exactly easy to show up at a stranger’s home, especially without being fluent in the language. In addition, the homes around surrounded with concrete walls, layered with barbed wire, guarded with Rottweilers and security systems. Simply ringing the bell to deliver cookies meant waiting for several minutes before there was even a response. When there was an answer, it usually was a voice over speaker, skeptically asking “Quién es?”
Years later, we’ve seen the fruit of such labor. Just this week, we celebrated our first neighborhood-wide event for Trick-or-Treating. It is encouraging to see after years as strangers, neighbors are coming together, some for the first time. Many of the comments were similar to “We’ve never knew who lived there.”
Folks agreed to having the whole neighborhood show up at their homes, asking for candy…for the first time ever. And we concluded with a potluck barbecue.
We’re grateful to be a part of this community. These neighbors are our support. Within minutes, we have a response from any of them when the power goes out or when trees block the road. We’re beginning to all look out for each other now versus keeping to ourselves.
And it all started with a plate of cookies.
*Cookies by Mom