When I moved to Gig Harbor, I was immediately taken by its beauty. It is considered to be one of the best harbor towns in the country. Living here feels like I’m on a vacation getaway every day. But there was something else that made it feel special. For the first time in my life, I lived in a place that felt like a community. I wondered what made it seem that way. Why do some places feel more like a community than others?
Technically speaking a community is a group of people living in a specific location, but I realized what gives a place that “community feel” is when there is an environment of shared values. So the definition of community can be expanded to mean a group of people who share a common interest or value system, physical location is not necessarily a requirement.
The people here in Gig Harbor take the time to get to know one another. They look out for each other. They help their neighbors, expecting nothing in return. There are community events all the time that bring people together; fundraising walks, parades, outdoor theater, live music in the park, farmers market, the list goes on… I love that no matter where I go – the grocery store, soccer games, the park, the library – I always see a familiar face. I’m not running about town amidst a bunch of strangers, they are my friends, my neighbors, my kids’ teachers and coaches. They are my community and they are a vital part of my life.
I believe you can create a community anywhere. It just takes a little effort. Find a group of people you share a common interest with and reach out to them. Get to know them. Lend a helping hand if you can. Expect nothing from them. Share your time and talents with them. That’s all it takes.
Enhance your community by being a part of it. Whether that means your immediate neighbors, your local neighbors or virtual ones, it doesn’t matter. The reward is the same. I may not be able to be a part of the Tri-Cities community, but I’m honored to be a part of The Pot-Luck, because this group does the community thing right.
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