Stepping Up and Giving Back: 20 Ways to Help Your Community
When we turn on the TV these days, we’re inundated with stories about so many bad things going on all over the country and the world. At times it can become overwhelming when all that ever seems to get reported is bad news.
But the world doesn’t have to be all bad and, in fact, a lot of good gets done everyday by regular people like you and me. I’m actually very active in my neighborhood as an executive member of my local neighborhood association. We have monthly meetings, discuss important topics, meet with city officials, and have quarterly neighborhood projects like park clean up, a community BBQ, or our largest event in October when we hold National Night Out.
Many neighborhoods likely won’t have a neighborhood association as active as mine or have one at all for that matter, but that shouldn’t stop you or your family from making a difference in your community. It’s important that kids be exposed to doing good deeds for others while they’re young so they understand the importance of giving back and not being selfish. Oftentimes, communities fall apart because people simply don’t step up to make things better.
It’s easy for any family to step up and make their community a little better, even if it’s in small ways. Eventually, all those little acts of kindness become one giant act of love and appreciation for the world around you.
Easy Ways to Give Back
- Pick it Up, Clean it Up - Volunteer to clean up a park or simply pick up litter and trash around your neighborhood or even at your local park.
- Help Those in Need - Gather up donations from neighbors to give to someone in need who has suffered a major disaster like a fire, flood, or family tragedy.
- Pick Up a Brush - Offer to help paint a house for a neighbor who could use a hand making their space look beautiful.
- Plant It - Get together with a few neighbors and start a community garden. If you have a good crop, give food to needy neighbors to cook it up and share a plate.
- Share a Skill - Great with carpentry, mechanical issues, or computers? Offer your skills to help someone solve a problem.
- Ramp it Up - Build a ramp for someone who needs a little help getting around their home.
- Take Care of Those Taking Care of Others - Put together a gift basket of small snacks and goodies for a local doctor’s office or hospital serving your neighborhood.
- Make Time to Visit - Whether they still live at home or in a retirement community, take a few hours out of your week to go and talk to a senior who might not get many visitors.
- Sing it Loud - During the holidays, get out and sing a few carols for everyone to hear. People may join you!
- Food for Thought - Spend a couple of extra dollars for a few canned or dry goods you can donate to a food bank. Consider holding a food drive for a larger donation.
- Spread Some Stories - Start a book exchange with neighbors by gathering up books people can take for free.
- Play with Puppies - Your local animal shelter is likely always looking for people to socialize their animals before they get adopted.
- Food and Fun for Furry Buddies - start a food and toy drive for all the animals at your local shelter.
- Support the Locals - Support local restaurants and family owned businesses in your neighborhood instead of big name places.
- Leave the Car at Home - On a nice day, leave the car at home and either walk, bike, or another alternative mode of transportation to get to where you need to go in the neighborhood.
- Celebrate Together - Get together with your neighbors and throw a block party to celebrate the holidays like Memorial Day or the 4th of July.
- Reduce and Reuse - Encourage your neighbors to start recycling more instead of creating more trash. Start a recycling program if your town or city doesn’t already have one.
- One Meal at a Time - Volunteer your time to cook a meal at a homeless shelter or help out at Thanksgiving.
- Clear Out the Closets - Have clothes or items in good condition you don’t need anymore? Donate them to organizations like Goodwill or offer them up for free to neighbors.
- Give the Gift of Life - Donate blood or plasma regularly and encourage your neighbors to donate as well. Blood is always in need and a single donation can save many lives.