We Are Noble, May 15–17, adapts to the 'new normal'
We Are Noble, the annual neighborhood event, has two main goals: First, to enjoy and celebrate neighbors, and thus build up the community; and second, to demonstrate to those outside the community that the Noble neighborhood is a great place in which to live and invest.
This year’s We Are Noble celebration, May 15–17, will take on a creative new look as those in the Noble district of Cleveland Heights, like all Ohioans, work to keep one another healthy. Instead of gathering at event hubs (at yard sales, institutions, and parks), We Are Noble participants will celebrate from their homes.
Those who live and work near Noble Road are asked to unite around four themes: Show, Support, Serve, and Savor. Noble Neighbors, the community organization, is offering suggestions for creating displays and motivating actions around each theme.
For the “Show” theme, neighbors are encouraged to display signs of celebration and thanks from their homes, to keep the displays up May 15–17, and through Memorial Day.
Ideas for decorating homes include using signs, flags, banners, sculptures, balloons, lights—anything that will show neighborhood unity and emotional support. Flying American or state of Ohio flags; celebrating high school or college seniors with congratulatory decorations; and displaying signs thanking neighbors who are health care workers, first responders, grocery and pharmacy workers—anyone serving in an essential capacity—is encouraged. Joining national expressions of unity by displaying stuffed animals, "dad jokes," or chalk art are other possibilities. Neighbors, businesses and institutions are invited to choose their own forms of expressing unity and support during the weekend.
In another sign of unity, neighbors are invited to hang holiday-style lights, and turn on those and porch lights from 8 to 11 p.m., May 15–17.
For the “Support” theme, neighbors are encouraged to donate hygiene items, cleaning supplies, and disposable products to the Start Right CDC Hunger Center on Saturday, May 16, 10 a.m. to noon. The Start Right Church, which houses the hunger center, is at 977 Caledonia Road. Donations will be received on the Winsford Road side of the building.
Noble Neighbors learned that neighborhood food banks are doing a terrific job of delivering food to those in need, bagging up food they get from the Cleveland Food Bank or food they purchase by the case. However, they are supporting a greater number of people at this time, so any funds they have are used only for food purchases. While recipients are grateful for the food assistance, Start Right CDC Hunger Center reminds donors that those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic do not have funds for disposable products, either. Cleaning supplies are the most requested non-food items, along with personal hygiene products, including diapers and feminine supplies, disposables such as toilet paper, paper towels, and food storage items including aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Noble Neighbors seeks to fill this gap with its May 16 donation drive.
Noble Neighbors also encourages cash donations to institutions that have supported the Noble neighborhood, including the food banks, Home Repair Resource Center, school PTAs, churches, and others.
For the “Serve” theme, We Are Noble participants are encouraged to choose a city block and pick up litter. Several neighbors have been quietly and purposefully picking up litter all spring, because they love their neighborhood and want to offer a gift to everyone by keeping it clean. Noble Neighbors notes that the increasing attention to litter removal is making a noticeable difference on how the district looks and is perceived.
For the “Savor” theme, participants are invited to enjoy the neighborhood by walking or driving around the district and looking for displays of celebration and thanks. Photographers are asked to send their photos to email@example.com, along with notes about what attracted them to the display and the name of the photographer. Noble Neighbors will post these on social media with photo credits.
Organizers have received considerable positive feedback about this year’s changes to We Are Noble, with the community embracing this opportunity to celebrate in accordance with the “new normal.” For more information, and to view ideas and comments on the “Quote Wall,” visit www.nobleneighbors.com.
Brenda H. May
Brenda H. May is one of the Noble Neighbor leaders. Check out the organization's story at www.nobleneighbors.com.