It has probably been on your mental to-do list for some time now to get more involved in your local community. However, life is busy, and there are often a lot of other challenges and time constraints that get in the way. Well, it is time to stop making excuses, and this guide is here to help.
One problem you may have had is trying to figure out where to begin. After all, a happy and functioning community consists of many parts. It has neighbors that care for each other and help with things they struggle to do themselves. It has those are active within the church, and make it the welcoming and inclusive place it should be. Of course, communities consist of children and therefore consist of schools too. But these sometimes need a little help to run, especially for special occasions. That’s not forgetting older children, who may need a special place to spend time in. Finally, there are the charity shops who may need voluntary assistance to keep running.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some inspiring ways that you can give back to your community. Pick one way, two ways, or go all out and try your hand at each. Get the whole family involved and you’ll make an even bigger impact!
Helping elderly neighbors with their garden maintenance
This first thing on the list is something you barely have to leave the house for. Do you have elderly or disabled people living on your street, or in your area? They might even live right next door! How about popping over one afternoon and asking if there is anything they need help with? They are likely to have some tasks that they struggle to do because of their age or disability. Often, these tasks are out in the garden. It could be a simple case of mowing their lawn whenever you mow theirs. What you are doing is kind and selfless. However, it has the added benefit of keeping your street and local area looking nice. You may even inspire others to do the same for the neighbors. Plus, you never know what they will do for you in return. You might return home one day to find a mean plum pie waiting for you on the doorstep!
Supporting your local church
If you are a churchgoer, how about devoting some of your time to helping and assisting there? You could do this in a number of ways. If they run a Sunday school, but their teacher has recently left, how about stepping forwards? Or, perhaps you could do some fundraising initiatives to raise some money! Bibles, cushions, church chairs and other common items sometimes need replacing, and all of these things cost money. By using your own time and resources to fundraise for these things, you are leaving the men and women in charge to focus on their own tasks.
Run a stall at the school fete
Teachers work hard enough as it as, and good ones can have a positive impact on your children for life. So, take some of the pressure off them. Doing so gives them more energy to have a good effect on your kids, which is what they’re there for. Teachers and headteachers are often drafted into help and work extra hours at holiday times and celebrations. The school may use this time to run fairs, fetes or fundraisers. Offer to run a stall, or help out with one that is due to be set up. This might be a game to keep kids occupied, or a food stall. Or perhaps you have a special skill that you could put to good use. Maybe you could teach the children a spot of archery, or do face painting, for example!
Weekend work at a local charity shop
The vast majority of charity shops survive thanks to the help of volunteers. The charity shop will likely have limited funds, and therefore won’t be able to pay staff. While this will put some people off, as they won’t earn, that’s not the idea of volunteering! Your commitment doesn’t have to be huge to be inspirational. You don’t have to work there 5-days a week to make a difference. Just doing a 5-hour shift one weekend morning, or weekday afternoon is enough! It’s also a great way to meet new people, do something worthwhile with your free time. The work is easy and mainly consists of sorting donations and serving customers. There might be a bit of cleaning and tidying involved. However, you can make yourself a cup of tea, put on your favorite radio station and the time will fly by!
Set up a youth club and activity center
While the last idea of charity shop volunteering required minimum commitment, this is quite a different story! Setting up a youth club, teens activity center or both is an incredible thing to do for your community. However, it is also a big task, so be aware of this. Before beginning, it might be wise to draft in the help of a friend or two! Doing so allows you to split up the many tasks involved, and split the responsibility too. However, the amount of work and effort you put in is sure to be able to how much the kids and teens get out of it. Community youth clubs are a fantastic way of keeping vulnerable young adults off the street and out of trouble. Use the time that they give you wisely. Get teachers, sports instructors and arts professionals to come in and do talks and workshops, for example.
Bag packing at the drugstore
One final idea for giving back to your community consists of bag packing. You could do this at the local drug or superstore. You might not feel like such a small act will make much of a difference. However, while small, it will put a smile on people’s faces for sure! After all, you’d enjoy the same special treat if someone did the same for you!