Love thy neighbor – we get it. But what does that look like? A bad neighbor is a misfortune, as much as a good one is a great blessing.
In 2011, a group of neighbors got together to improve the quality and life in Gulfport. Not that it was bad before, but a few people started to come together as an organized group to see what they could do to make a difference in their community.
This group became known as the Gulfport Neighbors.
President of Gulfport Neighbors, Margarete Tober, explained she has noticed that in today’s culture, people are just too busy to even get to know their neighbors name let alone see what their daily needs may be.
“When I was growing up, it wasn’t uncommon for my dad to go help someone if he saw there was a need. People were just out there constantly ready to help their neighbor. It’s not really like that anymore,” said Tober. “People are so busy that it’s just not prevalent anymore.”
Recently, Tober heard of an older lady in the neighborhood who had to take out a loan in order to get her house painted.
“There’s no reason why that should happen. There should always be people to help,” said Tober.
That’s why these meet-ups are all the more important. There’s something so necessary about ensuring that the generation to follow understands the deep reward of giving.
“Many hands and big hearts can make a difference,” said Tober. It's also the group's catch phrase.
Today, Tober says that she finds that there is a broad spectrum of all ages who volunteer whether its doing yard work or beach clean ups. She says that students from both Stetson University and from various high schools come with willing hearts and hands to get dirty for the sake of giving.
The meet ups aren’t set in a routine schedule but Tober said that events will pop up as need arises.
This Saturday, the neighbors of Gulfport will be meeting on 53rd St. between 7th and 8th Avenues at 7:30 a.m. to work on a home of an 89-year-old lady.
“Once you meet her, you just can’t help but love her,” said Tober.
Gloves and closed-toed shoes are encouraged. Beverages and snacks will be provided.
B.Y.O.T. (Bring Your Own Tools) Come with clippers and rakes in hand and join the heart beat of the Gulfport community.
Get to know your Gulfport community. How can we love our neighbor if we don't know them?
We all have a little something to give.