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“Neighboring week” full of events to promote connection in Midland county

Midland's 2022 neighboring week will take place from Sept. 26 to Aug. 2.
Photo provided by the Midland Area Community Foundation
Midland's 2022 neighboring week will take place from Sept. 26 to Aug. 2.

Midland county is preparing for “neighboring week”, a yearly tradition to promote connection in the community.

Starting Monday, groups from around Midland County will do their part to be good neighbors, hosting free events, food drives, yoga lessons, and more.

“When you think about neighboring, it's really the catalyst for building a sense of belonging across Midland County,” said Sharon Mortensen, the CEO of Midland Area Community Foundation.

For the first time this year, eight Midland coffee shops are teaming up to offer a special “Neighboring Latte”. One dollar from each latte purchased during the week will go towards Access to Recreation in Midland County.

“I think it's really remarkable when you think about these businesses that one could consider businesses that compete with each other. Yet, they're coming together to say, as we work together, we can do something greater than just our individual business, but we can really have an impact on this community,” Mortensen said.

All kinds of organizations contribute to the yearly tradition. This year, the police department will be conducting car seat safety checks, the Breaking Bread Village will be giving out awards to deserving community members and the Chippewa Nature Center will be putting on the annual Fall Harvest Festival. Another special event happening this year is “floats with goats”, a social where neighbors can enjoy faygo floats and visit a petting zoo outside the library.

Mortensen says at the most basic level, inclusivity starts with getting to know your neighbors.

“Whether it's your neighbor where you geographically live, your neighbor in a workplace, or your neighbor that you do business with, I think we want to build inclusive communities where we can connect with one another and we can experience a sense of belonging,” she said.

Jill Harrington is a senior at CMU majoring in journalism and minoring in theatre and interpretation. Jill grew up in Novi, Michigan and started reporting for WCMU in summer 2022.