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Help Your Neighbor the 21st Century Way

Scot Campbell, founder of, helps a fellow community member. (Campbell)
Scot Campbell, founder of, helps a fellow community member. (Campbell)
June 2, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Borrowing a cup of sugar from the house next door doesn't happen as much these days. Thirty-percent of Tennesseans have never met their neighbors, according to research from the urban policy think tank, City Observatory. But folks are finding new ways to connect. Through a website, Help Your, people in 500 cities across the state are asking for help and receiving it. People post needs and others log on to volunteer their time or money. Scot Campbell, president, launched the site seven months ago.

"The concept is to build relationships with people that we have down the street or across town," he said. "The site allows for some individual who needs help to post a need and then a volunteer sees that need on the website can help that person directly."

Participating in the site is free, and people post needs for anything from lawn care to transportation needs. Nonprofits also can post fundraiser information. People create profiles and receive "hearts" when they help someone, as well as reviews so people can be sure they're connecting with reputable individuals.

Help Your Neighbor now is in 30,000 cities in all 50 states. Campbell said it's a way to circumvent the lack of neighborhood connections as people are less likely to naturally interact with their neighbors.

"It seems like the more enmeshed we become in our digital technologies, the more detached we become from the community where we live," he added. "We need to get back to getting back on the porch, building relationships, because once you're able to step outside of your comfort zone of the fear you're having, it can be a beautiful thing."

Listings on the site are broken down into cities and neighborhoods, or individuals can form groups. Students can also use the site for required community service hours.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN