We're all about building a thriving community within our property gates, but what about the greater communities we're all a part of? When my little family and I moved to a brand new state (Arkansas) that we knew nothing about (except all of the stereotypes) we felt completely out of place. We got to know the neighbors right around us in our little apartment community, and that helped... but didn't instill within us a sense of belonging. We would ask where grocery stores were and which parts of town were better than others. We're foodies, so we got to know our neighbors' favorite spots around town, and our kids would even play together. All of those were great things, but we still didn't feel like we belonged in Arkansas.
While that little community of neighbors was great, what helped us feel like we truly belonged and could start to call Little Rock home (a home we were proud to be a part of) was that my husband did some work for the Department of Tourism. As weird as it sounds, his job was to sell people on coming to visit Arkansas: The gorgeous mountains and hikes and cabins... the river and biking trails and amazing parks... the city life full of fabulous food and rich sense of community right in the capital city (ready to go visit yet?). Once we got to know what was going on around us, got to explore the state, made a little "bucket list" of weekend Arkansas activities we wanted to experience... then we felt like we belonged.
When you first meet somebody, you might know their name and a mutual friend, or maybe their birthday if you're friends with them on Facebook, or what their cat looks like if you stalk them on Instagram. But the more time you spend getting to know that person, in person, the more you learn what's going on with them - what's beautiful and quirky and wonderful about them. Such is the greater community we're all a part of. We have to spend time getting to know the city, events, local shops, beauty, people, quirks, and amazing things about the place we live to truly get to know it and call it "home."
We want to help you and your residents become friends with your cities. :)
So, we're doing a series on the blog about the different places in which we have CARES Teams! Each week, we will post about one of our cities (or regions) with a Pinterest board just for that city. That's right teams... a whole Pinterest board just for where you live, full of things to do, calendars of events, top 50 things to see in your city, vendors (eateries, shops, etc.) to potentially partner with, the tourism website, and much more!
Please don't forget to share your journey with us on Instagram by tagging us in your pics (@aptlife and #CARESteam)! We would love to get to know your city right along with you.
Here's to making people feel more at home... wherever they may find themselves.
Are you part of a current or former CARES Team who knows of someone who would make a wonderful CARES Team member? If so, you can REFER A FRIEND.
Would you like more information on what it means to be a CARES Team? Visit our website today. You can fill out a quick application and someone will contact you with more information. And, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@aptlife), and Instagram (@aptlife).