If you really want to make a difference right here at home, there are several ways you can do so! Keep track of what is going on in your community and if issues arise, perhaps you can be the one to find a solution. Be active! Have a voice!
The opportunities to volunteer in your community can be varied. For example, you can volunteer to help at your house of worship, the community library, or at hospitals or nursing homes located in or near your community. All of these places need volunteers, and some of them rely very heavily on them to “take up the slack” when necessary.
For example, you can offer your services at your house of worship by helping seal, stamp, and address weekly or monthly mailings. You can also volunteer to assist at funeral luncheons or other functions held during the week.
The community library will welcome volunteers to re-stock shelves, assist patrons, and perform other duties. The hospitals and nursing homes will enjoy having someone to come in and assist with delivering mail or other items to patients, assisting with activities, or just keeping someone company.
Does your community have a neighborhood watch program? If not, and there have been incidences of break-ins, vandalism, or other criminal activities, why not organize one? The police department or sheriff’s department that serves your community will help you get one started.
2. Join a Board or Commission
Many communities have their own boards or commissions that work separately from or with local municipal and county ones. These can include beautification boards, library boards, and others. Vacancies may occur each year as a member’s term of service ends. When it gets close to time for terms to end, you can submit your application or letter of intent to fill the vacancy.
3. Support Your Schools
Join the PTA , even if you don’t have children in school. Volunteer in the media center or in a teacher’s classroom. Offer to tutor or give additional help to students before or after school. Most degree programs need people to support their specialized tutoring, like in mathematics and design.
4. Vote on Issues That Directly Affect Your Community
Many times, tax issues or other considerations may affect an entire municipality or even county or parish. When this is the case, it’s for sure your community will be affected in some way. Make sure to be well informed and vote. If you are against a particular issue or if you strongly support it, then consider volunteering to inform others and persuade them to vote as well.
5. Support Your Community by Shopping at Local Businesses
Many communities have small business establishments that provide products or services. Unless it is absolutely necessary to go somewhere else, use those businesses first, especially if family owned or independently owned. More often than not, the prices are comparable if not slightly less expensive! If they are higher, you may find the services are much more personalized, making it worth paying more. Also, always ask for items made in the USA – that not only helps your community, it helps America.
These are only five ways you can support your community. There should be other opportunities available. Contact your community leaders, houses of worship, and others for ideas about giving back to that area you call home.