How would you like to improve the safety of your neighborhood, have a fun time with neighbors, build community, and take part in a huge, nationwide program?
Do it all at a Night to Unite celebration on the first Tuesday in October. This is the night to get together with neighbors and build community.
This is a simple but powerful method for people to improve their own and others’ living conditions. At its most basic, building community involves neighbors working together to create positive changes in an area. Whether they are trying to reduce crime, looking out for each other’s property, or getting involved in some other way, it is all part of building community.
Planning a Night to Unite party?
Here are 7 Steps to get you started.
Step 1: Decide to Get Involved
Nigh to Unite is a great opportunity to bring neighborhoods together. This is important: neighbors who know each other and agree to watch out for suspicious behavior are a great defense against crime.
- Night To Unite is a good reason to get people together for the first time and start building relationships.
- Night to Unite events can be simple or elaborate – anything from light refreshments on a neighbor’s lawn to a street party with food, music, games, and prizes. Each neighborhood can take part in this nationwide event in its own way.
- Be part of the biggest crime prevention event in Minnesota.
Step 3: Plan The Party
- Be COVID Safe
Night to Unite is going to look and feel a little different this year. Due to COVID-19 visits from public safety will be very limited. If you choose to hold a neighborhood party please remember that outdoor social gatherings are limited to 25 people and indoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people according to the Stay Safe MN plan. When gathering for Night to Unite please follow social distancing guidelines and wear a face mask.
- Design an event that fits your block.
Every block or neighborhood is unique and events can reflect that. Participate with any kind of event that suits you and your neighbors.
- Have a planning meeting.
Even the simplest event requires some planning. Plus, a planning meeting is a great way to get others involved.
- How will you involve children?
Kids bring great energy and enthusiasm to Night to Unite events. Get all ages busy with Night to Unite planning. Involving children and teens can also have a great long term benefit for your block. Recent research shows that crime rates are lowest where young people and adults share a close bond.
- Where will you hold your event?
- Lawn or park
- Vacant lot
- Parking lot
- Decide the details.
- Will the party have to have refreshments?
- Will the party have entertainment?
- What kind and who will provide it?
- Do you want to feature any special group activities?
- Will it be a potluck or is one host providing the food?
- Divide responsibilities among neighbors.
Step 4: Make Sure You Have the Materials
Step 5: Invite Neighbors
- Make an Night to Unite sign, and put it in your yard.
- Fill out the Night to Unite invitation flyer with the specifics about the party and make copies.
- One week before Night to Unite, hand out the flyers to all of your neighbors. Tell everyone you see about the upcoming event.
Step 6: Give Back to the Community
The following groups collect supplies and distribute them throughout the community:
- Hope for the Community – Hope for the Community is located in Blaine and feeds hundreds of families each week.
- Youth First Community of Promise – Youth First is a free neighborhood based after school program located in Ramsey.
- Hope4Youth – Hope 4 Youth operates a drop in center for homeless youth in Anoka and also runs a transitional housing program in Coon Rapids that provides stable housing for 12 young people at a time.
Step 7: Most Important … Have Fun at Night to Unite!
- Make sure to have name tags.
- Consider taking some pictures and starting a Night to Unite photo book for the block.
- Gather email addresses of neighbors to keep in touch and to help promote and plan future Night to Unite events.
- Enjoy the event.