Five years ago, I rescued a tiny kitten that was about to be put out to pasture. She was a mere five weeks when I got her, and I named her Jennifer (nicknames include Jenny, Jen Jen, and JJ). I’ve always been a dog person, but I found myself in the mood for a pet and happened upon her. I’m very fortunate because JJ is a pretty stellar cat in terms of cat temperament. She is friendly to a fault.
I bring up Jenny because she has had some adventures in her day. The most recent being when I pulled into the lot of my garden-style apartment to find my headlights shining brightly on my indoor cat sitting very much outdoors. There was another resident who happened to be standing in the doorway with a look of uncertainty plastered across his face. As I exited my car, my dear JJ came bounding over to me and the gentleman at the door seemed to relax a bit. He explained that “the cat” had just gotten out and he didn’t know what to do. He also pointed out a note that was taped to the inside of the door to our building that read:
Cat lost in 4807. PLEASE HELP. He is grey and super ADORBS! He is very friendly too, give him a pet.
As you can imagine, my mouth was agape while taking this in since when I left my apartment that morning, my cat was sound asleep in the middle of my bed. I could only assume that my roommate had accidentally let her out. I asked my fellow resident if he knew how long the note had been up and while he didn’t know, he pointed to the small amount of food someone had left in the corner by the stairs for my Jennifer. She had obviously been wondering those four flights of stairs all day. While I was perplexed about how this all went down, I became more concerned about how to properly express my gratitude to those neighbors I have lived next to for many months now, but barely knew.
Throughout my years at NAA , I’ve realized more and more that NAA and its affiliates shouldn’t just be looked at as a business, but as a community, too. units Magazine has published many stories of apartment owners helping out veterans, the disadvantaged and those displaced during natural disasters. The apartment industry seems to be morphing into such a warm community and the idea of helping out our own, as well as those in need, is no longer farfetched. It doesn’t make for a poor business model, and it’s something that NAA recognizes at our annual Education Conference by awarding NAA Paragon awards to individuals, designates, affiliates, apartment owner and developers. Last year, the NAA community participated in a Life is good® Playmakers charity initiative that raised over $40,000 for underprivileged children. The NAA family came together and really “played it forward.”
During Jenny’s great adventure, the residents in my building were an (albeit small) example of this warm, helpful community. It re-established why I so love living in not just an apartment building, but an apartment community. I think that with Thanksgiving so close, we all should be thankful that we are a part of such a great and ever growing community. I definitely know Jenny is.
Sarah Hipps works as NAA's Meeting Specialist. You can find her at most (if not all!) of NAA's meetings with a smile on her face. Other words she uses to describe herself are blogger, avid eater, workout-aholic and behind-the-scenes gal. Contact her with your thoughts about her blog (or if you need meeting registration help).