The Internet can be a negative place, but one Naperville Facebook page is dedicated to being a positive experience for community members.
More About Neighborly Naperville
Created in 2015, Neighborly Naperville features an array of daily posts ranging from notes of appreciation, inspiring moments, or photos of things they love about the city.
“In my wanderings I had seen so many things in town that I felt needed to bragged about or broadcasted,” said Neighborly Naperville Creator Ellie Martin. People being really nice, or people doing incredible things for each other, and I didn’t feel like there was a right place to do that. So it just kind of occurred to me that I could start a page like that, where people could come and post positive things that happen to them in town.”
And thus Neighborly Naperville was born.
Thousands of posts have gone up on Facebook group since, and there are some stories that stick out to Martin including one from the summer.
“Right when the protest and cleanup and the hearts happened. [The post said], ‘I took my kids downtown today to show them the beauty that can come when a community comes together. I did not expect to feel so emotional, but the tears came. It was absolutely beautiful. And to think how it all came about made it even more beautiful. Love CAN and WILL always win against hate,” said Martin.
Neighborly Naperville saw 2,000 new members last year, and now has over 13,000, according to Martin.
A Member’s Perspective
Sudhakar Shenoy or more commonly referred to as Ess Kay Ess joined Neighborly Naperville last year after Martin asked him if he would post a photo to the page.
“This particular group I saw was very well moderated and it sends a positive message of sharing and community feeling,” said Shenoy. And for me it was the perfect group because I was new to Naperville, I did not know anybody here, and everything had shut down. Not only in my personal life, but my professional life under a lot of stress.”
The page brought Shenoy a lot of friends and his photos did so well that it was featured as the City of Naperville’s holiday card.
Ray of Light
“It’s really great when somebody does refer to it [Neighborly Naperville] as a refuge, a ray of light,” said Martin. “I love that so much that people feel like the group is a place where they feel they can come and find something happy.”
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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