City of Durham NIS Community Engagement

February 2018 Neighbor Spotlight- Vicky Clay

February 2018 Neighbor Spotlight- Vicky Clay

What is the name of your neighborhood?

Creekside at Bethpage

How long have you lived in your neighborhood?

I was the first person to move into the community in October 2015.

Tell us about your neighborhood.

On the Facebook group, Creekside Talks, a neighbor posted on their one year anniversary how happy she is living here.  Everyone else commented in agreement.  When I work from home, I see people walking back and forth constantly, and out of the 200 households in the community, I’m familiar with about 100 people.  The community spirit is incredible.  People are happy to know each other and are kind to each other.  So many people moved from places all over the country and the community being built is really cool.

What successes have your neighborhood and community had?

We have so many different groups and organizations.  There’s the Creekside Blue Belles, a group of women who have a lot of fun and at the same time, raise money for charity.  We have the Romeos and Juliets, two separate groups of men and women that get together socially, usually for lunch once a month.  There are other community members who are not very computer literate, and we’ve got a club for that.  There are several people who have difficulty getting involved, and so neighbors reach out and help connect them to some of these groups.  The neighbors recognize the importance of being connected and help overcome the challenges of technology.

We have outdoor activities like pool, pickle ball and bocce courts.  We had a cardboard boat regatta last summer where we could only use cardboard and duct tape for a race in the pool. I am on the Activities Committee and we usually have at least one organized function per month.  We have Meet and Greets monthly so that old and new members can interact.  There are plans to have more than 600 homes and we currently have 250.

Finally, we have the Pay it Forward group, which is all about people from all walks of life giving to someone else and making a positive difference here at Creekside at Bethpage. We thought there was a need in the neighborhood where people are only getting older and so we do support activities for each other.  These can be as simple as washing windows, changing filters in furnaces, loaning tools, etc., with the general goal of “Taking care of your Neighbor.”  We recently created a Medical Loan Supply closet that contains various supplies—crutches, walkers—that people may use as needed.

What are some concerns that you still have in your neighborhood?

We need to make sure we still are able to reach everyone, as we continue growing to over 600 households.

What advice would you give to other community members?

The hardest thing for people is to ask for help.  We should feel comfortable asking for help, even for the little things, like a ride to the airport.  We want people to feel comfortable asking because as we all ask, other people will start asking.  I am a cancer survivor and it meant so much to me when people brought me food and helped with my laundry.  Building that culture of asking and give and take is critical.  For organizations like Pay it Forward, trust and confidentiality are extremely important.

Do you have any upcoming opportunities for other people to get involved?

There are always opportunities on the website and at Hemingway Hall for any residents.  Either visit or talk to neighbors at Hemingway Hall to learn how to get involved.  

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