How a Central Texas neighborhood is working together amid the pandemic

  • A neighborhood on the outskirts of Austin, Texas, is coming together to help each other through the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Neighbors in Ratten Creek are donating supplies, money, and time to those who need help paying emergency bills and grocery shopping.
  • Others are using their skills and passions, like art, sewing, and landscaping, to serve each other’s needs through this difficult time.
  • The neighborhood communicates primarily through a shared Facebook group, moderated by neighbor Christine Newman.
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Christine Newman, a resident of Austin, Texas, says building a sense of community in her neighborhood was no small feat.

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, an out-of-work family had both of their cars break down. One of their neighbors checked out the car, while another recommended a local shop, which gave a discount on repairs. The whole neighborhood came together to chip in for repairs. 

“It’s been a conscious effort by the people who live here to embrace a smaller town community mindset, happening in a big city,” Newman said.

The Rattan Creek neighborhood is on the northwest outskirts of Austin.

While walking through it,  you might stop for a life-sized game of Chutes and Ladders in Aly Finely’s driveway.

You might donate some fabric to Aimee Sharp’s bin of materials for face masks, or you might grab a miniature watercolor painting from Natalie Flores’s yard.

If you look down, you’ll see positive messages like “you look nice today” and “be well” colored in chalk by Carolyn Jennings Brown.

In this neighborhood, members are doing what they can to help each other through the coronavirus pandemic.

Behind it all, Christine Newman is communicating with neighborhood residents to find out who has needs and who has services to offer and matching them together. 

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