Great Ways to Get Involved in Your Community and Give Back
Giving back to your community is not only a genuine and selfless act, but it also has some more personal implications. Giving back can give you a better sense of self, higher self-esteem, and a more positive outlook on life; plus, it’s a great way to meet new people and connect with others who share a similar goal or passion. If you’re looking for ways to not only improve and help the community in which you live, but to feel better about yourself and make some new friends as well, then you’ve come to the right place. Here some great ways to make the most of your experience and heighten community spirit.
- Support local business– One of the most commonly-overlooked ways to give back is to support local business. Buying meats, baked goods, produce, clothing, jewelry, and even home décor from local vendors or Mom and Pop shops are a great way to show your community spirit and keep businesses flourishing. Locally-sourced grocery items, handmade gifts, homegrown foods, and custom orders of other odds and ends around town can help support and encourage local business owners. Sure, they may be priced a little higher than their big-business counterparts, but nothing compares to stimulating the local economy and keeping that hard-earned money in the community!
- Visit local shelters and volunteer hands on– Many people think the only way to give back is to visit a shelter or food bank and volunteer hands on, but that is simply not true. It can be discouraging to many who may not have the time or resources to do so, but if you are fortunate enough to have this be an option, then please lend a hand! Food banks and homeless and women’s shelters fill up fast around the giving holiday season, so you may need to book your time there in advance. This often involves packaging and moving foods, packing lunches, organizing donations, serving food to those in need, and other odd jobs here and there.
- Set up a fundraiser or contest and donate proceeds to charity– Raising money can be a great and truly helpful way to make a difference. Luckily, there are a ton of ways to raise a decent amount of money, and many of them don’t even require you to leave your house. Simply holding a yard sale, for example, is one way you can make some extra cash from things of value you already have that you may not have used in years. If you’re willing to spend a little bit more time, try running a fundraiser and collecting donations from people in town. If you’re feeling even more creative, hold a fun contest to get more people involved, and then donate a portion of the proceeds or items to a charity of your choice.
- Inspire youth– One of the best ways to give back is to start with helping the generation that is most impressionable—children! There are plenty of ways to give back and help kids in your area. For example, if your town has a local youth sports team, you could coach the team on weekends or volunteer to help out as team manager or assistant. If your strong suit is academics, try being a mentor to a student or offering tutoring services for the subject you excel most in. Working with kids can be an extremely rewarding experience and is something that is always in demand.
- Offer your time or skills to someone in need– If you want to get more personal in your philanthropic endeavors, offering your skills to someone in need is a great way to make use of your special talents or passions. There is no shortage of people looking for all kinds of unique services—whether it be yardwork, building homes or furniture, or even disaster relief, there is always a need for a helping hand and an able body.
At the end of the day, as long as you’re willing to give some of your extra time, money, or skills, you’re bound to have a positive experience and improve the lives of those in your community and others in need. If you can think of any other great ideas for giving back that we missed, please let us know in the comments below!