Are you a proud member of your community? Most people are. There is something special about getting involved locally and making a difference, and if you are out in the trenches, lending a hand to those in need, you are among the blessed.
Are you interested in helping out but don’t know where to start? Here are seven ways to contribute to your community.
1. Become a volunteer in your community
The fastest way to make a personal impact is by getting your hands dirty. I don’t mean making mud pies, though. It’s all about giving of your time and reaching out.
Many places and organizations could benefit from your help; all you have to do is ask. Some great places that need assistance are:
- Food banks
- Youth groups
- Senior’s homes
- Christmas kettle
You need to contact these and other places and let them know your availability. There will probably take you on board immediately and help you be part of the solution.
This sounds like a new line of cabinets from IKEA, but it is an acronym for Random Acts Of Kindness. The only thing more exciting than giving is when you give spontaneously and without a need for praise.
There are lots of opportunities to give randomly. You could mow the lawn of an elderly neighbour or take back the cart of a busy mom in the grocery store parking lot. Next time you are in line at the drive-through, pay for the vehicle behind you. It’s only a few bucks, but it will make someone’s day. You may even start a pay-it-forward scenario.
This giving doesn’t have to be a huge gesture or a large sum. It is just a quick activity of generosity and one that you can easily do several times a day.
3. Church’s Mission And Service Fund
Are you part of a church community? Maybe you connect with your creator more personally but like what your local church is involved in. Either way, churches must raise capital to fund their service efforts and mission work.
Contact your local church and go see what they are up to. If you connect with their charitable causes, consider donating to help the effort. You may find that regular financial support is a worthy cause, and you can also give your time working with their local and international endeavours.
The United Church of Canada mission and service fund works in communities to give medical aid and emergency relief. Contributing to their efforts is a way to help where it’s needed most.
4. Recycle in your community
This may sound like a small act in your community, but it helps immensely. Not only do you save plastic, metal and glass from going to the garbage dump, but you also contribute to these items getting recycled. Natural resources and pollution is reduced when we can reuse items again, and you even get money back for some things.
You can even organize a recycling program in your neighbourhood and a bottle collection with money going to a local charity. Every recycled item added together will make a huge difference.
5. Shop locally in your community
The people that have businesses in your community are usually from your community. This is a direct way to help locally because your money is being spent in your area and supporting local businesses.
This kind of spirit and commitment is what we need. Showing your neighbours your choice to buy from them instead of someone else in the next city means that you value their company and want them to thrive. Embrace what your community offers and give them your patronage.
6. Organize a local cleanup
This is a way to help your community and get others involved simultaneously. Talk to your neighbours and see if they want to be part of a clean-up effort in your area. It could be a local park or a street, so pick a weekend when you can get the most people out. You don’t want it to cost anything so ask everyone to bring a few garbage bags and a pair of gloves.
This can become a fun social event and helps you get to know the people you share your community with. Make new friends and clean up the neighbourhood at the same time.
7. Go to a community meeting
There are regular meetings that happen in your area all the time. It could be the school board, the city, the parks board or even information on new development.
Getting involved in local politics or activism is healthy and lets you have a voice in the decisions made in your community. It also shows your support and commitment to improving locally for all who live there.
Contributing to your community isn’t just about buying boxed cookies and a few raffle tickets. It’s finding creative ways to support what’s going on. Get involved and aid those who share the land around you.