19 Jun 17 Ways to Give Back to the Community in a Meaningful Way
Giving back and being a vital part of the community is more important than ever before. The good news is that there are many different ways to give back to the community and help make it stronger than ever. You can make a positive impact, whether you prefer to roll up your sleeves on a construction project or make calls from your home. There is something out there for everyone. Essentially, there are many different lanes to giving back, and you can choose as many different lanes as you want or are able to.
Why it’s Important to Give Back
There is a reason we say that those close to one another and willing to lend a helping hand are considered to have a strong sense of “community.” A community comes together in times of need.
The Bible teaches us that community is important too:
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24–25 NIV
The encouraging part is so important in that verse. Encouragement is all about being there for people when they need it. Whether they are your family, friends, neighbors, or even a stranger. We need to “spur on” each other toward love and good deeds. Giving can be contagious. Sometimes, giving back on your own can be daunting. But, when we are all willing to lend a hand to those in need and to better the community as a whole, few things can stop us.
But community and giving back should also be fun. Psalm 133:1 (NIV) tells us, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”
Living in a place that is accepting of everyone and will always give back when the opportunity calls for it is much more enjoyable than living somewhere where everyone only looks out for themselves.
To ensure that your community is all that it can be, here are 17 ways to give back to your community!
17 Ways to Give Back to the Community
Volunteer at a local Food Bank or Soup Kitchen
You’d be hard-pressed to find a town or city that doesn’t have a food bank or soup kitchen close by. A simple Google search will point in the right direction. Food banks are an essential part of caring for the most vulnerable community members, and many allow you to sign up for a session of volunteering for several hours. Many hands make light work; by volunteering once a week or however often your schedule allows, you can help them carry out their message of hope.
Volunteer at an Elementary School
Public schools tend to be underfunded. Volunteering to help out wherever you can at your local school is a great way to help out your community. Whether you’re a retiree that helps out during lunch or use your professional knowledge to help tutor, every and any help is appreciated. Not to mention, you can act as another positive role model to the kids you interact with.
Donate Money to Local Organizations That You Support
If you’re unable to volunteer your time, donating money is another great way to give back. Do some research for causes that you’re really passionate about and find a local charity or organization to support. While money doesn’t solve everything, many nonprofits or other charities need donations to survive and continue to carry out their mission. Instead of buying coffee in the morning before work, or spending money on some things you want but don’t need, donate to a local organization that you believe in.
Donate Your Pet’s Time at a Hospital or College
If you have a dog, cat, rabbit, or any creature that is soft and adorable, consider reaching out to local colleges or hospitals to see if you can bring them in as a stress or therapy pet. Unwell kids and even adults can all benefit from having a friendly dog to play with for a while. Many colleges will also host therapy pet sessions during finals week to help ease up the stress of those oh-so-important tests and papers. If you have a friendly pet, reach out to local schools and hospitals to see if your pet can be of assistance!
Donate to Some Charities Around the World
The community is bigger than just your neighborhood, town, or city. Research some national and global charities and organizations and find some other opportunities to lend a helping hand through donations. Don’t feel like you need to give all your savings away, but setting aside a small portion of your income for charity will add up over time. Or, if you have some extra change, a big donation all at once is another great way to do it.
Tithe to Your Local Church to Help Them Spread Their Message
Churches depend on donations and tithings from local community members to continue to spread the Word of God. Organizations of faith could always use the extra help, so whether you’re donating or volunteering to read scriptures or to help out in another capacity, your local church will appreciate it.
Volunteer at a Local Senior Living Community
Living in a senior living community can sometimes be lonely. That’s why it’s important for local community members to help out by spending time with the residents. Playing cards, reading books, or simply hearing them tell their stories is something that you’ll appreciate as much as they do. Search for some living communities around you and see if they need any assistance.
Work With Your Employer to Set Up a Volunteer Day
Businesses have a duty to their local communities to help ensure that the community around them is thriving. A business should always be willing to occasionally take time out of their day to volunteer at a charity or organization that could use the extra hands. Tell your employer about some organizations that you think would be a good fit to help out at and set up some times and dates that work best for the other employees. There are a lot of volunteer opportunities out there.
Donate Your Old Workwear
Not everyone can afford expensive workwear clothes. That’s where organizations like Dress For Success come in. Their mission is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and development tools to help women thrive in work and life. Folks can donate their gently used workwear to women who cannot afford it.
Organize a Community Clean-up at Your Parks
Giving back to communities can take many different forms. While helping individual people is always a great way to do it, helping out the environment is also a good way to give back. Organizing a community clean-up at one of your local parks is a great way to spruce up your city while getting together with members of the community to strive after a common goal.
Participate in a Local Fundraiser Walk or Race
Avid runners, hobby joggers, and new runners can all help out by participating in a local fundraiser walk or race. Get some friends and family to sign up with you, or work with your employer to get people to sign up. Races and walks are an excellent way to be active for a good cause. Plus, just think of the free food that’s waiting for you at the end of the finish line!
Support Local Farmers
Local, independent farmers are always competing with bigger companies to make a living. You can help them directly by heading to the weekend farmer’s market and buying some fresh, delicious produce that will support people who own independent farms. Farmer’s markets are a great way to build on the sense of community in your area, so make sure to participate if there is one near you!
Some folks can handle donating blood; others cannot. If you fall into the latter category, no worries! As you can see, there are plenty of other ways to give back to the community. If you are able to donate blood, make sure to participate when there are opportunities around you. If you have a big enough office, you can even look into hosting a blood drive. Just by giving a half-hour of your time, you can help save a life.
Help Your Older Neighbors Out With Some Chores Around the House
Lending a hand to those that could use some assistance is a great way to help out your community. Older neighbors may need some assistance with mowing their lawn and other household tasks and chores. By asking and seeing if they need help, you can make their life much easier. There are plenty of ways you can be of assistance to the elderly or disabled; all you have to do is ask.
Join a Community Garden
Community gardens are another great way to give back in terms of the environment. Not only do community gardens help bring some much-needed greenery to cities, but they are also an excellent way to meet new people and come together as a community. You don’t need a lot of money to join a community garden. You just need to know some basic gardening skills, and you’re all set.
Volunteer With Habitat for Humanity
Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity is one of the most familiar ways to give back. Habitat for Humanity is an excellent organization that does amazing things for communities. Whether you are a skilled carpenter, just know some basics about craftsmanship, or want to help out in other ways, Habitat For Humanity allows you to do just that. It’s also a great organization to bring your company to, as it will also help build a sense of comradery.
Volunteer at a Mentorship Program
As you can see, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities out there. Perhaps one of the most important ways to give back is through mentorship programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Kids all over the country need a role model, and organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of America allow you to be that role model. For just a few hours, a couple of times a month, you can make a huge, positive impact on a child.
Hopefully, one of these suggestions matches your passions and inspires you to get involved. Your community will be stronger because you volunteered so give back today!