National Good Neighbor Day: Celebrate with a Week-Long Challenge

National Good Neighbor Day is Tuesday, Sept. 28, and University of Missouri Extension in Greene County and other local sponsors are encouraging Greene County residents — and others across the state — to find ways to celebrate good neighboring by participating in the 1,000 Acts of Neighboring Challenge.
From Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, every person who reports an act of neighboring will be entered into random drawings for over $1,000 in gift cards and other neighbor-related prizes. Additionally, the best neighboring examples in each Greene County community can receive a cash prize of up to $250. Select participants from outside Greene County may be eligible to receive gift cards and “swag,” too.
“Someone in Ash Grove, Republic, Willard, and the other towns of Greene County will win cash for telling us about their act of neighboring,” said David Burton, county engagement specialist with MU Extension. “If you live in Springfield, there will be three cash prizes given out.”
Further details about the challenge and how to participate can be found online at
Individuals can report their acts of neighboring online too by searching for National Good Neighbor Day at or going directly to the survey at .
Burton encourages residents to use the week as an opportunity to start meeting neighbors they do not already know. Plan and organize a neighbor gathering. Host a simple event like donuts on the driveway or goodies in the garage. Perhaps use chalk to write inspiring quotes on the sidewalks.
“Neighboring is a slow process and it takes time but, there are many benefits,” said Burton.
You can find 100 ideas of how to neighbor online at if you want some fresh and fun ideas. The direct link is
“Current research shows many Americans suffer from a lack of personal relationships, which leads to isolation, depression, and anger. At the same time, less than three percent of Americans say they know the names of their neighbors, know a fact about them and have spoken to their neighbors in the last month,” said Burton.
Various articles about neighboring – like “Acts of Neighboring Are Easier Than Many People Imagine” – and details about MU Extension’s Engaged Neighbor program can be found online at as well.
“Developing relationships with our neighbors may provide a solution to our national epidemic of loneliness and the feelings of isolation and depression that so many have,” said Burton. “This year, during our neighboring challenge week, it can also pay! There are a lot of prizes to win.”
In 1978, U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced the creation of a national day aimed at raising public awareness that good neighbors help achieve human understanding and build strong, thriving communities. Since then, National Good Neighbor Day has been celebrated on Sept. 28.
MU Extension has been leading various efforts to celebrate National Good Neighbor Day in Greene County since 2018. This year’s 1,000 Acts of Neighboring Challenge is the largest effort yet and it is gaining nationwide attention.
Burton and other MU Extension specialists also are teaching “Becoming an Engaged Neighbor” online statewide starting October 11.
The class includes six sessions taught through Zoom and includes videos from national experts, handouts and participation in a local neighborhood project. Graduates will have opportunities for future training and events with other engaged neighbors.
Individuals can register by searching for the course name online at
“There is a lot to learn when it comes to neighboring,” said Burton. “We also know the best way to learn is to practice.”
Neighboring is the art and skill of building relationships with the people who live in the closest proximity to you. Being a good neighbor offers tremendous health benefits, leads to reductions in crime, reduces loneliness, improves communities, and improves your quality of life.
University of Missouri Extension is at the forefront of a national movement that recognizes the importance of neighboring in community development. MU Extension is offering classes like “Neighboring 101” and “Becoming an Engaged Neighbor” along with two annual neighboring events as a way to raise awareness and encourage others to focus on neighbors.
To learn more about our “Engaged Neighbor” program or the impact of neighboring, go online to or contact David Burton by email or telephone at (417) 881-8909. “Becoming an Engaged Neighbor” can also be found on Facebook.


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