Having the chance to give back to your community is the most fulfilling experience in the world. Not only do you feel good about yourself. You are also making a difference in your own way.
A lot of us want to spend more time volunteering. However, we’re often left with questions such as, “What can I do?”, “How do I get started? Or “Where do I fit”? The good news is there is an abundance of ways to give back to your community.
Need inspiration? Here are 20 ways to give back to your community
1. Give blood
Very little time can still do a lot for your community. Giving blood takes no time at all but can go a long way. So as long as you meet medical standards, you can sign yourself up with the American Red Cross or find out any blood donation initiative happening in your area.
2. Knit scarves for the homeless
Winter can be an especially unforgiving time for the homeless. They are stuck outside alone in the cold, prone to every sickness around. If you personally enjoy knitting, then add purpose to your passion by knitting scarves for the homeless. You can give them away directly or tie them around the neighborhood, which can easily be accessible to them.
3. Organize a soup kitchen
Just as there are homeless, the hungry need to feed as well. When we think about the food wastage many of us live on, it’s dismaying how much the excessive food could have fed others who needed it most. Organizing a soup kitchen for people is a wonderful way to give back to your community. Ask help from your local authorities or initiate a project with your school.
4. Collect books for students and schools
Not all of us can afford to buy books, and we can all agree that education is highly essential. Starting a book drive to collect paperbacks, school books, and hardbound editions is a great way to help underprivileged students and schools. Get started by collecting in your neighborhood, school basketball or in your local library.
5. Start a community garden
Community gardens have risen to popularity for good reasons. Others who want to eat healthier don’t have the space to do it. Moreover, others who want to promote a sense of community believe that it is through communal gardens that people become deeply connected. If you don’t have a community garden in your area, why not start one? You’d definitely be making countless people smile.
6. Clean an unkempt community area
Whether it’s the park, church, or a public library, volunteering to clean an unkempt common area is another way to give back to your community. Gather your friends, classmates, neighbors and delegate a task each. Let others paint while some cleanup or get more plants to beautify the area. You’ll be done in no time!
7. Double your dessert
Thinking of baking cookies for the family on Sunday? Why not double the amount and give them away to your local policemen, firemen, veterans club or in the senior home? We all know how food can easily get everyone together and lighten people up.
8. Share your skills
One of the greatest gifts around is to share what you are good at with others. Whether you are talented in music, mathematics, sports and the like, helping others learn is gratifying. So see how you can volunteer in your local community. There’s always a center you can spend time in.
9. Spend time with seniors
A lot of senior citizens live alone in homes. They don’t have anyone caring for them anymore, thereby leading the last of their lives in sadness. You have the chance to change this by spending time with them on your free days. It doesn’t have to be grand. Your mere presence can impact them positively.
10. Help others get their dream career
If you have a way with words, boosting others by helping them with their resume is another way to give back to your community. See who you can aid in transitional houses, schools or veterans.
11. Buy from local farmers
It’s not just healthier, it’s a better option to help small time businesses and local farmers. Here, you know exactly where your food is coming from. Plus, you get to help them with their honest livelihood.
12. Make tip boxes or bottles
Some of the most hardworking people around are in the food industries. Sadly, many of them work long hours and are underpaid. Why not design tip boxes or bottles for them and give them to the establishments? They will surely be grateful for the effort.
13. Plant a tree
The world can use more trees. Deforestation and commercialization have affected Mother Nature greatly and puts our future at great risk. Start with making a change by playing a tree. Before you know it, many will follow in your footsteps.
14. Help build houses
Habitat for Humanity is one among many organizations bent on providing better, free housing to those who can’t afford it. Apart from giving back, you get to learn a thing or two about building houses
15. Send care packages to the military
Military personnel in enemy lines and far away from their loved ones can use all the help. Fortunately, all it takes is a little effort by sending them care packages. Slip in a letter of gratitude and appreciation while you’re at it.
16. Raise money for a cause
Whether it’s to fund a research for cancer or to fund studies about Tourette syndrome, raising money for a cause you are passionate in is another way to give back. You could have collection jars, organize a fun run or a bake sale.
17. Become an organ donor
You can save more than just one life when you register to become a donor. If you need a little push, there are currently over 120,000 people who need organ transplants, and that’s just in the US alone!
18. Support brands with a cause
Responsible retail is yet another means to make your life more meaningful. Brands such as GoodSearch, Esperos, Warby Parker, and TOMS are just some of the many who intertwine a special cause with their items.
19. Volunteer for an outreach
Whether it’s on the outskirts of Pakistan, the slums of Guatemala or the streets of India, there is an infinite list of outreach programs you can sign up for. Just find something you are truly passionate in, and you would have taken the single most important first step.
20. Work in an animal shelter
Passionate about animals? Then working in an animal shelter is an ideal experience for you. Sure, there are the unglamorous moments in between. However, there’s nothing like being cuddled, surrounded and loved by the sweetest, purest four-legged babies.