IMG_1951, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from IK’s World Trip’s photostream

Part of being a good neighbor means doing things like keeping your property clean and orderly, minimizing your noise outdoors, and leaving the trash out on the right day. But students living on their own in an apartment or house for the first time often don’t know even the basics of being a responsible neighbor: What day is garbage pick-up? What’s recyclable in the City of Pittsburgh and when? Who do you call for information or help from the City? What rights do renters have?

That’s where the Oakland Planning & Development Corp. (OPDC) comes in with a preventative approach to the conflicts that can arise between temporary and permanent residents. Their Good Neighbor Campaign helps thousands of student residents become better neighbors by arming them with bags containing information–and some small surprises–that not only educate them, but also encourages them to get involved in local community groups. (You can see a copy of a magnet they distributed last year at the end of this post.)

OPDC needs your help to connect these student residents with others in the off-campus community and enable them to build strong neighborly relationships. Each year they mobilize a mass volunteer effort comprised of students and permanent residents every Saturday from August 24th to September 21st.

Please sign up to volunteer in their first door-knocking event on Saturday, August 24th from 10:00 am through 2:00 pm, beginning and ending at the Oakland Career Center at 294 Semple Street. (Free pizza will be served starting around 1:00 pm).

You’ll need to contact Bryant Andrews-Nino, the OPDC Good Neighbor Campaign Manager, directly if you are interested in coming out. He can be reached by phone at (412) 621-7863 ext. 21, or by email

You can read more about OPDC’s program here.