During the past five years, many new residents have moved into Gig Harbor and the Key Peninsula. At PenLight, we are fortunate to meet these people when they visit our offices or call in to join our electric cooperative. During their conversations with our member services representatives, most want to learn more about how to get involved with our community. Recently, we met with Barbara Henderson, president of New Neighbors, as part of this new feature in your Lights member newsletter.
When and why was New Neighbors founded?
Barbara Burrows founded New Neighbors in 1994. She had recently moved to the area and wanted to make friends. So, she put an ad in the local paper inviting people to her home for coffee. The rest is history.
The organization has grown from that initial small group to more than 700 members. New Neighbors is a nonprofit social organization whose stated purpose is to assist residents of the Gig Harbor area to make friends and become familiar with and active in the community.
The organization has no political or religious affiliation; it is dedicated strictly to fostering connection and camaraderie among local residents. Membership is open to anyone living in the 98332, 98335, 98333, and 98329 zip codes.
Since New Neighbors began, what has changed and what has endured?
The most important thing that has endured is the warmth with which people are welcomed, the inclusion, and the friendships formed. Specific activities have come and gone—and some have come back again, like the recent revival of a gardening group. New Neighbors has grown a lot through the years, as has the whole community!
If you’re not new to the area, can you still join New Neighbors?
Absolutely! Some of our members are new in town while others are just in a new phase of life. For example, they recently retired, or became empty nesters. And some just take a little longer to realize we’re here!
How can you learn more?
We have a website at www.gigharbornewneighbors.com.
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Keeping Barbara’s original tradition alive, we have monthly coffees for new and prospective members. Just reach out to us through the website or email. We would love for you to join us.