SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Sept. 28 is National Good Neighbor Day, and we talked with a professional about how to improve the community in your neighborhood.

David Burton, a community engagement specialist with the Missouri University Extension Office, stopped by the studio to talk about a new program he’s a part of.

National Good Neighbor Day has been an annual celebration of communities and neighborhoods since 1978.

“The whole emphasis is to reach out and learn the names of your neighbors if you don’t already know them,” Burton said. “And if you do, have some sort of positive contact or an act of kindness or a service project —something to help build those neighbor connections.”

This year’s event has a theme: “Start with ‘hello.'” The idea is that you start building relationships with your neighbors by simply saying “hello” to them. From there, you can learn their names, a little about their lives, and start to become good neighbors to one another.

Burton brought some postcards with him that his group is giving away to people who want to participate. The first 50 callers, texters, or emailers that reach out to Burton will get a pack of eight postcards, as well as some coloring pencils to color the coloring book-style cards.

You can reach out to Burton through the MU Extension website, email him at burtond@missouri.edu, or call him at 417-881-8909. Be sure to leave your name and address so that he can send the cards to you.