Nextdoor.com helps connect neighbors online - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Nextdoor.com helps connect neighbors online

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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

A new social network helps you connect with your neighbors, which could help save you time and money.
   
Many of us have fond memories of growing up in a close knit neighborhood, but these days neighborhoods seem more disconnected than when we grew up. 

"There was Facebook for your friends and family, LinkedIn for your business contacts, and yet I would walk outside my front door and look down the street and realize I knew only one of my neighbors," said Sarah Leary, co-found of nextdoor.com

That's how nextdoor.com was born. The free site allows you to connect online with your neighbors. it site started with 176 neighborhoods using the platform. In two and a half years, that number's grown to 32,000. 

Ames Russell, President of the Tuckahoe Terrace Civic Association, uses Nextdoor to inform his neighbors.

"It's more dynamic than simple email," explains Russell, who sent emails to people in his area to join the network. "About 66 percent of the neighborhood has signed on."

If you need to rent expensive equipment, the connections could help you split the cost with other neighbors who need it, too. Or you could trash your waste service bill by splitting dump fees with someone who's already making the trip. 

"Neighbors not only want to help out, they see it as an act of good will and they want to be seen as good neighbors," said Leary.

You can find a babysitter, list something you need to borrow or sell the things you no longer need.

"I feel much more comfortable welcoming someone into my home who is a verified neighbor to come buy that bookcase if I want to sell it, versus a complete stranger I know nothing about," said Leary.

When Ames' water heater broke, he didn't need a paid site for a good recommendation. Using Nextdoor he got advice from two neighbors who had similar work done.

"That was a great way to find out and now I expect I'll continue to work with that plumber," said Ames.

Nextdoor is a secure website and all members must verify that they live in the neighborhood. Nextdoor will send physical postcards to alert your neighbors that the group is forming. 

If you're interested in starting a group, click here: nextdoor.com.  

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