Five decades ago as newlyweds with very little money in our collective pockets, my
wife and I moved to Portland and set up house in a cozy 7th-floor $75-a-month
downtown apartment. A few months later we got a call from a “Welcome Wagon” representative, cheerfully welcoming us to the neighborhood and asking if she might swing by to meet us and drop off some welcoming gifts courtesy of local merchants. “Sure, thanks!!” was my enthusiastic response. Her warm welcome, along with the freebees, made a lasting impression.
Fast forward to one of our BWNA Board meetings, we were discussing neighborhood outreach and how to share with B-W residents the existence and purpose of our neighborhood association. After sharing the Welcome Wagon story, I volunteered to
explore launching something similar via BWNA.
Once I got started, things quickly took off! First, American Title Company agreed to e-mail me monthly lists of new homeowners, and local Windermere (Moran Homes) real estate broker Jamie Van Hoorn subsequently offered to help “interpret” the lists identifying true new residents, as opposed to refinancers and developers. Then Beaumont Business Association (BBA) contacted its membership, resulting in a 10%-off discount card good at 30 businesses and organizations. Additionally, Backyard Bird Shop, also located on Fremont but not a BBA member, contributed $10-off discount cards. Not only could we welcome our new neighbors, but we were also incentivizing them to explore and support our treasured local businesses.
During the first two months of the project, board members delivered welcome packets by hand to give the warmest welcome. However, with COVID, we switched to mailings. The hope is that home deliveries can resume again no later than next fall because getting to meet our neighbors is important to us and building the neighborhood culture we all get to enjoy.
So far, we've received very positive feedback, and feeling welcomed is a critical element to newcomers feeling at home. We're proud of our work and this gesture to build community.
To help us out, if you’re aware of a newcomer on your block, please let me know via a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If there’s a local business that you think might be interested in
participating—BBA member or not—let me know as well. The program is a win-
win-win—for the newcomers, for businesses, and for BWNA.
Big thank you to our current participating businesses:
Adorn, American Chimney, The Arrangement, Backyard Bird Shop, Beaumont Florist, Beaumont Hardware, Beaumont Village Dentistry (excludes dental insurance), Begin Pilates & Yoga, Bikram Yoga Fremont Street, Blind Ox Taphouse, Colleen Shea Massage Concordia Chiropractic, Foot Traffic, Green Dog Pet Supply, Happy Day Juice Co., Hi-Top Tavern, Honest Training, Krishna Avalon Acupuncture, Mathnasium (off initial registration), Momiji Sushi Restaurant, Pacific Holiday, Paperjam Press, Pip’s Original Doughnuts, Plush Botox Bar, Retreat Beauty Lounge, Sabiang Thai, St. Rose School ($75 application fee waved), Silhouette Tailoring, Tacovore, Tomorrow’s Verse, and Wild Hearts Wellness.