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In May the University of Missouri Extension's Missouri Good Neighbor Week took home top honors as the year's Best Neighborhood Program at the 48th annual Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) conference in El Paso, Texas. And The Hopeful Neighborhood Project (HNP) from LHM was a part of that! HNP joined the MU Extension in 2022 as a partner, helping take the program from the county level to a statewide presence. Together their work resulted in 12,854 acts of neighboring in 63 Missouri counties last year.

"This program was impactful because of the many volunteers involved and my partnership with The Hopeful Neighborhood Project," said David Burton, MU Extension community development specialist. "The judges liked the volume of participants, the variety of things that took place, our unique website, and they loved that we improved on our county program in 2021 to take it statewide," according to an MU press release.

"There is just so much good work happening throughout the country," said Jennifer Prophete, director of community programming at LHM. "To be honored by this group as the best was really humbling. In order to be selected, you have to submit an application, and then give an oral presentation. The judges were impressed with Missouri's Good Neighbor Week because of its tremendous geographical growth over a short period of time and for its many thousands of recorded acts of neighboring last year," she added.

"This was an extremely competitive category," said Precious McKesson, NUSA president. "All of the finalists were very good. We were very impressed with the results of Missouri Good Neighbor Week and believe it has merit as a national approach to get people talking about neighboring simultaneously," per the MU press release.

More than 600 people from 34 states attended this year's NUSA conference. It featured-in addition to the awards program-in-depth workshops and plenary sessions, networking events, tours, and the chance for people to share ideas on how collaboration and intentionality are improving the face of their neighborhoods around the country.

Missouri Good Neighbor Week 2023 kicks off with National Good Neighbor Day on Sept. 28. Looking for ideas on how to make your neighborhood more hopeful? Visit! There you will find the EveryGift™ Inventory, details on Neighborhood Labs, excellent online courses, annual events to celebrate your neighborhood, wonderful stories told by people making a difference, six sessions of videos on how to get the most out of your neighborhood, and The Hopeful Neighborhood Field Guide, an indispensable book for exploring your neighborhood's possibilities.

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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