After reading Angela’s post again recently about Investing for Regular People, I was again struck by the definition of “to invest”, “to use, give, or devote (time, talent, etc.) as for a purpose or to achieve something.” Every time I have read this post I keep coming back to one investment that I have taken part in and am still reaping the benefits of the initial investment, my neighborhood.

Last year, my neighborhood was at the tail end of the Minneapolis tornado. We were all fortunate to only lose trees, power, and a few days of work. During those “dark” days our neighborhood, which had always known a little bit about each other just enough to get by, it came together and started to work as one. We were a group of individuals who were all working for one common purpose, to ensure that everyone’s lives could get back to normal. We spent those days, before the sun went down, outside, out of our homes and into the streets talking and sharing of ourselves and our time.

It sounds strange but during this past year, “something” has been achieved. As we all recently got together for our block’s National Night Out, this was not a meeting of neighbors or acquaintances, it was a meeting of friends who share a common bond and goal. My investment has had a high return on the initial investment--and we are stronger and safer as a group who watch out for each other.

Do you have a story of investing in the ordinary and finding the extraordinary?