Kelli Cicirelli

To chase away the winter doldrums, socialize!

By Kelli Cicirelli

Winter is a great time to establish or invigorate your resident-owned community's social committee.

An article I recently read about beating the winter doldrums included recommendations to become more social. This makes a lot of sense. Folks lucky enough to live in a resident-owned community have a built-in social network of people around them who share so much in common—the ownership of their neighborhood.

Does your co-op have a Social Committee? If not, the winter months would be a great time to establish one, or invigorate one that hasn't been active.

Pot of stew

The benefits are two-fold. For individuals, a Social Committee provide an opportunity to get involved, to create something fun for members, and to reach out to others in a social way. For your co-op, a Social Committee builds community and strengthens the ties between neighbors. When people get together in celebration of their commonality, bonds are formed and bridges are built.

Need ideas to get started? How about these?

  • Hold a block party to celebrate Valentine's Day or St. Patrick's Day both upcoming winter dates that are perfect for getting together.
  • Organize a garden group around a plan to make the entrance of the community more beautiful in the spring. It's never too early to discuss how to design it, what to plant, and what colors will brighten the area. Seedlings can be started indoors in a few weeks!
  • Invite members to a Soup-er Dinner Night. Someone hosts the evening with a large pot of winter soup or stew, while others contribute crusty bread and crackers. Everyone brings their own bowls (easy cleanup). Rotate to another member's home the following month.
  • Start a game night. Cribbage, Uno, Yahtzee and Hearts are favorites that will bring members out of hibernation. Consider a friendly competition, with small gifts for high scores.

Other ideas to motivate a Social Committee can be found at ROC USA®'s website, a great resource for all things ROC.

So beat the winter blues by engaging your neighbors and building community. Talk with your neighbors and directors about your co-op's Social Committee, and reach out to ROC-NH™ for ideas to make it happen.

Kelli Cicirelli is a ROC-NH Organizational Development Specialist.

ROC-NH™ is a program of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, Inc. and a ROC USA® Certified Technical Assistance Provider.
ROC-NH is a registered service mark of ROC USA, LLC.